In a press statement today, Liew said, “It is high time for Malaysia to review the death penalty as it is an archaic form of punishment that is inconsistent with international norms.
“I urge the government to at least review laws that allow the mandatory death sentence and to return discretion to the judges. “
Liew (left) quoted figures supplied to him from the Home Ministry, which stated there are currently 964 inmates on death-row for various offences.
“The death sentence is a punishment that is both inhumane and irreversible. The impossibility of eliminating human error and the ineffectiveness of the sentence as a deterrent also raises many issues.
“There should be amendments to empower judges to replace the death sentence with jail time for drug mules,” said Liew
Poll: Folk against mandatory death for some crimes
This comes after a UK-based NGO, ‘The Death Penalty Project’, yesterday released its findings of a door-to-door survey of around 1,500 Malaysians, conducted between November and December last year to look into public opinion on mandatory death penalty.
The survey found that while more than 75 percent of people supported the death penalty for murder, drug trafficking and firearms; support for the mandatory death penalty was much lower.
While 56 percent said they were in favor of mandatory death penalty for murder, only 45 percent supported a mandatory death sentence for firearms offences, and between 25 and 44 percent for drug trafficking.
The group also provided participants with 12 individual ‘scenario cases’ in which the death penalty was a mandatory sentence, and found that only 1.2 percent of respondents thought that the death penalty was appropriate.
In March last year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said that the government would look at amending the laws only if it had the support of the public.