Reference no: EM13137301
Singapore Country Review (2013) reported that the gratuitous use of the death penalty has resulted in Singapore's dubious distinction as the country with the highest per capita execution rate in the world -- exceeding the record of Saudi Arabia. The application of the death penalty is an additional element spurring critique of Singapore's justice system. Making matters worse has been the application of the death penalty in cases where violent crime is not a factor. For example, two men of African background were executed for drug smuggling in 2007 despite the fact that global human rights groups launched massive appeals for clemency. The case highlighted Singapore's draconian methods of dealing with narcotics- related crimes.
There has been much debate in the Singapore Parliament and public sphere with regards to the complete abolition of the death penalty. The two articles provided reflect the debate regarding the issue of death penalty in Singapore.
Do you think that the Singapore government should completely abolish the death penalty?
In about 1000 words, write a persuasive argumentative essay defending your position in order to argue for your particular stance on this issue. Other than providing supporting arguments for the position you take on this issue, you MUST anticipate objections and provide counterarguments to write the paper. Relevant information for you to gather would be:
? Definition & types of death penalty ? Singapore's laws on the death penalty
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? Issues (moral, ethical, and etc.) surrounding the death penalty ? Arguments for the death penalty ? Arguments against the death penalty
1. Your reasoning must be good. 2. Strengthen your argument by using examples and illustrations. 3. You may include any additional but relevant information to the ideas that have already been given in the scenario and articles. 4. You should use at least 7 research sources to help you write your essay. The given articles are considered as a separate research source each and can count towards the 7 research sources. 5. You are to use credible and reliable sources to help you write this essay. Marks will be deducted for non-credible and unreliable content. 6. Remember to use accurate grammar, correct sentence structures and a tone appropriate to academic writing. Marks will be deducted for poor English.
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Abolish death penalty, urge 3 MPs
Section: Parliament Home By: ANDREA ONG Publication: The Straits Times 13/11/2012 Page: B5 No. of words: 593
AT LEAST three MPs yesterday urged the Government to go further and abolish the mandatory death penalty when they joined the debate on the Misuse of Drugs Act.
They cited reasons such as the ethics of taking a life, its irreversible nature, and lack of evidence that it is effective as a deterrent.
Under proposed changes to the Act before the House, the mandatory death sentence can be lifted for drug couriers only if they have substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau or are mentally impaired.
Nominated MP Laurence Lien went the furthest yesterday by calling for the death penalty to be completely abolished from the laws of the land.
This should be the -ultimate goal-, he said in an impassioned speech, even as he welcomed the shift in the Government's stance.
-My starting point is that we must believe that every human life is precious,- he said.
-Unless it is specifically to save another life, taking a life, for no matter how good an intention, is wrong.-
Mr Lien argued against what he called a utilitarian view of justice, where the ends justify the means. A -culture of death- damages the goal of having an inclusive society, he said.
While Singaporeans are rightly proud that the nation is relatively free from drugs and serious crime, he said the death penalty is not just about the criminal justice system.
-It is also about the type of society that we want to build - a society that values every person and every human life, and one that doesn't give up on its people.-
Joining in the debate, Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam and Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) wanted the mandatory death sentence meted out for some crimes to be scrapped.
Mrs Chiam called for the death penalty to be made discretionary for all crimes. Already, the
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-extremely harsh- nature of the death penalty means any error discovered after an execution cannot be remedied, she said.
-It is even harsher to make it mandatory, because... offenders are denied the chance to convince the court why they do not deserve this harsh punishment.-
Mr Singh said the proposed changes are a step in the right direction, but lamented the -missed opportunity to remove the mandatory death penalty from our statute books completely-.
Mandatory death sentence cases leave judges -strait-jacketed-, with no room for mitigation, said Mr Singh. -All the prosecution has to do is to prove that the accused is guilty of the charge preferred against him or her, and the hands of a judge are tied.-
Such sentences -effectively make the role of the judiciary administrative, in favour of the executive arm of the state in the shape of the public prosecutor,- he said.
The effectiveness of the death sentence as a deterrent was also questioned.
Mr Lien and Mrs Chiam cited Hong Kong, where homicide rates fell after the death penalty was abolished in 1993.
Nominated MP Faizah Jamal asked the Government to publish more data on the link between the death penalty and low crime rates.
She was among the MPs who applauded the compassion and greater judicial discretion they saw in the proposed changes, although they did not make an outright call for the mandatory death penalty to be abolished.
Said Madam Faizah: -There is a vast difference between a life sentence and a death penalty... A compassionate society gives (an offender) a second chance, even as it sends a strong message of the severity of the consequences. It does not have to be a zero-sum game.-
Shanmugam stresses case for death penalty
Section: Top Of The News By: POON CHIAN HUI Publication: The Straits Times 31/12/2012 Page: A3
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No. of words: 494
MINISTER for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam has weighed in on the death of the Indian woman who died last Saturday after a brutal attack by six men in New Delhi.
In a Facebook post yesterday, he called it a -heartbreaking case-, and said that he would often cite cases like this as examples when he engages in discussions with people who want the death penalty here abolished.
-Many would agree that this is a type of case where, if the injuries inflicted were of a nature sufficient to cause death, then the abusers should face the death penalty,- he wrote.
His comments sparked more than 300 responses on his Facebook page.
Some supported his stance on the dealth penalty, such as a netizen who went by the name OC Yeo, who said: -The death penalty must remain - otherwise justice cannot be served.-
Others said the punishment remains unjustifiable.
One of them, early childhood educator and activist Rachel Zeng, wrote: -The death penalty only creates fear, and instilling fear is not an effective way to deal with crimes.-
Another Facebook user, Mr Joshua Chiang, described the death penalty as -an arcane law that cannot be intellectually justified on any grounds-.
In response to him on Facebook, Mr Shanmugam said he sees the punishment as -a necessary evil-.
But he noted that it is the entire criminal justice system that keeps the streets safe.
-Having the death penalty alone is not going to stop violent crimes - it didn't stop this young lady from being grossly violated,- he wrote.
The 23-year-old Indian student, who has never been named, died from severe organ failure at Mount Elizabeth Hospital here.
She had been flown here from New Delhi in a last-ditch bid to save her life.
The lively discussion on Mr Shanmugam's Facebook page comes amid changes to the death penalty here.
In July, a Bill was presented in Parliament under which certain drug offenders and murderers will be jailed for life with caning instead of facing the gallows. It was passed last month.
For example, in murder cases, discretion can be granted by the courts if the person had no outright intention to kill.
The move was welcomed by human rights groups at that time, although most still preferred to have the death penalty abolished.
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Last month, at least three MPs urged the Government to do away with the death penalty, during a debate on the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Among the reasons cited is the lack of evidence that the punishment is effective as a deterrent.
In his Facebook post, Mr Shanmugam also cited a -good letter- published in The Straits Times last Saturday by journalist Deepika Shetty.
-She points out that in Singapore, young women can go about confidently at any time of the day and night, in spaghetti tops and shorts - a right which they should have, a right which society should protect,- wrote the Law Minister.