Monday, November 21, 2005

poor execution

I doubt it will do much good, but I've thrown my two cents into a campaign to spare the life of Van Tuong Nguyen, who is due to hang in Singapore on 2 December after the poor fool was caught trying to smuggle heroin through Changi Airport. My email to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is below. And to supporters of the death penalty who might try to catch me out with any of their crude old chestnuts: no, I don't think serial killers or terrorists or war criminals – or anyone else – should be executed, either.


Dear Prime Minister,

I doubt this email will make much difference. I guess it is unlikely that you will ever read it. But I decided I should at least do something.

Nobody thinks that Van Tuong Nguyen should go free. But, as you no doubt know, many people do not think he should die for his crime. It is a very, very final act. What I ask, is that you – as the one person who has the power to spare this man his life – carefully weigh this upon your conscience. Would long-term or life imprisonment be less of a deterrent? Think also of the grief caused to Nguyen’s innocent friends and family. Are the lawmakers of Singapore prepared to accept a death penalty for their own children, should their own children stray? Is Singapore prepared to accept that maintaining a death penalty means that innocent people will be executed? It may not happen often, but humans are fallible, and court decisions are made by humans. Wrongful executions are, from time to time, a certainty. Is this a price worth paying?

I write not because I am Australian, like Nguyen. I write because I believe that in killing a person for their crime, we are no better than those we condemn.



Blogger takumi said...


like you i oppose the death penalty. No institution should have the right to take away the life of a human being under any circumstances.

pls help sign the online petition at:

8:05 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...

Petition signed...

11:18 am  

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