Monday, October 22, 2012

Death penalty for killing a burglar that broke into your home unwarranted

Some thief breaks into your home, and in the ensuing scuffle ends up death. Is it right for you to be charged with murder? I think not...

PETALING JAYA: Several groups are calling for a judicial review into the death sentence imposed on two Indonesian brothers charged with killing a burglar.

National Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the sentence was too extreme and would have implications on the way people react to situations that involved their own personal safety and security.

On Thursday, a High Court in Shah Alam sentenced two brothers to death for the murder of a 26-year-old man who had broken into a shophouse in Sepang on Dec 3, 2010.

The burglar had entered the shophouse via a ceiling and fell into the room where the brothers and a Malaysian co-worker were sleeping.

While the Malaysian fled to call the police, the two brothers dealt with the burglar, who later died due to blunt force trauma.

Referring to the case, Lee said the incident involved someone who had gained illegal entry into a building and was motivated by a criminal intent.

“In such cases, it is normal for the occupants to react spontaneously to restrain an intruder who may pose a danger to them,” he said.

Bar Council vice-president Christopher Leong also said the death sentence was unwarranted.

“People have a right to self defence in life-threatening situations,” he said.

However, he stressed that people should not take the law into their own hands.

Leong also said the Bar Council was against the death penalty.

Taman Gasing Indah Rukun Tetangga chairman Eric Chew described the judgment as shocking.

“This was a hot topic in the coffeeshop this morning. People feel disturbed that their right to self defence has now come into question.”

Taman Tun Dr Ismail Resident Association chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah also said a judicial review was necessary in view of the need for self-defence.- Star, 20/10/2012, Groups: Review death sentence

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