BEING SENTENCED TO DEATH AND DEPRIVED OF RIGHT TO A SPEEDY APPEAL IS VERY CRUEL & UNACCEPTABLE
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is disappointed and shocked by the revelation that two men are languishing on Death Row because the judge who convicted them at the Seremban High Court five years ago has not provided the grounds of judgment. (New Straits Times
If languishing on death row waiting to be deprived of one’s life is already recognized as being “a cruel and unusual punishment”, how much more worse is it for a person who spend the last five years without even having the opportunity to appeal against his death sentence just because some judge was too lazy to write out his grounds of judgment. The torture that this victim, his family and friends have had to undergo for the last five years would have been intolerable and would never be justified.
Let us not forget that it is very possible that this judge who sentenced them to death may have erred in law and in fact, and the Court of Appeal may have put things right by acquitting him, maybe 5 years ago.
It is also a concern whether a judge, now writing his ‘grounds of judgment’ after the matter has been raised in the media is able to do so without being affected by irrelevant external factors. One also wonders whether he can even remember why he convicted those persons more than 5 years ago and sentenced them to death.
In criminal cases, especially those when the accused person is found guilty and sentenced to incarceration and/or death, the grounds of judgment must be immediately prepared and made available to the convicted person no later that three days. This will allow for immediate access to the right to a speedy appeal – more important when there was a miscarriage of justice at the court of first instance.
According to the New Straits Times report, this judge now sits in the Federal Court, and this is just another reason why there must be a new process put in place in deciding who is to be appointed judges and elevated to the Higher Courts. Lets us expose this judge and demand his immediate resignation – or at least a public apology for the great injustice that he has caused to these 2 persons.
This compensation scheme is important now looking at the current state of police investigation, prosecution and even judges, which interestingly have received a lot of media attention over the past couple of months. Too many persons have ended up spending time incarcerated waiting for their trial only to be released later without being convicted. It is for this loss of liberty and movement that persons must be compensated.
MADPET also reiterates its call for an immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition, and the abolition of the death penalty in
for Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
(For further information, contact N. Surendran (012-3207066) or Charles Hector (019-2371100)