No to Death Penalty

The name Tuong Van Nguyen has become a household name in Australia these past few weeks. On December 2, he will be hanged in Singapore charged with smuggling drugs into the country. I don’t approve of what Nguyen did even if he only did it because he was forced into that situation to save his brother from a drug syndicate in Sydney. He knew what he was getting himself into, sure, but when he cooperated with the Australian and Singaporean authorities, you would’ve expected that they would have given him some form of leniency.

But, no.

The Singaporean government will still proceed with its mandatory death sentence for drug traffickers regardless of the amount of cooperation Nguyen offered or given his circumstance (helping out his brother out of a bind).

Now, I think illegal drugs are harmful and people who sell/push them should be rightly apprehended and punished. However, I don’t believe that the death sentence is an appropriate punishment for Nguyen’s crime. Actually, I don’t believe that the death sentence is an appropriate punishment for any crime (no matter how awful).

The chances of sending an innocent (or relatively innocent) person to his death are there, no matter how small. And if later on, it was discovered that the person was innocent after all, there is no going back.

Anyway, even though I think Nguyen deserved to be punished for his crime, I don’t believe that he should be executed for it. There must be some other way. I definitely feel for his family and friends. I hope that there is some loophole or whatever that could be exploited so that Nguyen’s life could be spared.

Nguyen’s lawyers and supporters are exploring every possible avenue to reduce his sentence and stay his execution. I wish them the best of luck. There’s still time. In the meantime, all anybody could do is pray and hope.

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Published in: on November 22, 2005 at 12:13 pm  Comments (3)