Monday, October 18, 2010

No place for death penalty in a civil society

A letter to the Editor that appeared in Malaysiakini about Death Penalty:-

I would like to bring up the following issues on capital punishment.
  1. Is the justice system fool-proof and would anyone be wrongly convicted? It's obvious no system is foolproof and to wrongly convict an individual and send him to the gallows is one person too many.
    Someone argued previously that wrongly convicting an individual and sending that person to the gallows is no different from wrongly convicting that person and sending him to jail as one could not 'reimburse' the jail time served by the wrongly convicted individual.
    Arguments along this line ignores the seriousness of taking away a person's life.

  2. Is capital punishment an effective deterrent?
    Well, I think capital punishment can be a deterrent for the average person on the street. But I seriously doubt if capital punishment is an effective deterrent for hardcore criminals and murderers.

  3. Is it right for society to take away an individual's life as a form of punishment?
    No, I don't think society has a moral or religious right to take another person's life, no matter how heinous the crime. To take an individual's life will be no different from behaving like that same criminal society is prosecuting.

But society has a right and a duty to protect itself from criminals by incarcerating them, for life if need be.

Taking into account just issue number one above, Malaysia must abolish capital punishment. There is no place for capital punishment in a civil society.
  - Malaysiakini, 19/10/2010, No place for death penalty in a civil society - Cheah Hooi Giam