M’sia may scrap death penalty for drug offences

october 22,2012 http://www.todayonline.com

PADANG RENGAS (Perak) – The Malaysian government is looking into the possibility of withdrawing the mandatory death sentence for drug offences and replacing it with jail terms, The Star newspaper reported yesterday.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz said the Attorney-General’s Chambers would study the viability of the move.

“There are close to 250 Malaysians arrested as drug mules and sentenced to death abroad, including in China, Venezuela and Peru. It is difficult to justify our appeal to these countries not to hang them when our own has the mandatory death sentence,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday.

“If the Government is going ahead with the suggestion, we need … a moratorium on death sentences from being carried out for those convicted in Malaysia,” Mr Nazri was quoted as saying.

“We are considering an alternative of 30 years’ jail or more and allowing judges to have discretionary power.”

Singapore recently tabled amendments in Parliament to its death penalty regime, making the death sentence no longer mandatory for some drug trafficking and homicide cases.

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