Friday, June 30, 2006

BERNAMA: No plan to abolish death penalty

Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 20:50

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 (Bernama) -- The government will not abolish the death penalty for it deters serious crimes and safeguards public interest, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk M. Kayveas said Wednesday.

He said the penalty also reflected the government's seriousness in dealing with heinous crimes.

"There are enough safeguards in the country's judicial system to ensure that death sentences are not meted out easily," he said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat.

Kayveas was replying to a question from Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) who had wanted to know whether the government planned to abolish the death sentence.

The death penalty is provided for serious crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

Kayveas cited thorough investigations carried out by an experienced and effective police force on crimes that carry the death penalty as a safeguard against wrongful detention and trial.

He said the criminal justice system in the country was also matured, independent and fair in its proceedings.

"Criminal cases which carry the death sentence are tried in the higher courts by learned judges.

"A convicted person can file two appeals, that is to the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court," he said.

Failing that, he said, the convicted person can apply to the Pardons Board for clemency.

The Dewan Rakyat sits again Thursday.

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