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Death Penalty In Singapore Not A Deterrent Says Criminologist

One of Australia’s leading Criminologists, Professor Paul Wilson from Bond University, has commented on the Singapore Government’s recent decision to go ahead with the execution of young Melbourne man, Nguyen Tuong Van, saying it was a “complete furphy and contrary to all the empirical evidence” for the Singapore authorities to claim that the death penalty was keeping Singapore free from drugs and other crimes”.

“There is not one shred of evidence that the mandatory death penalty in Singapore for trafficking in illegal drugs is more of a deterrent against drug crimes than alternative sentences such as life imprisonment,” Professor Wilson said.

“With well over 400 hangings since 1990 - the highest per-capita rate of execution in the world – how can they possibly say that their grotesque policy of hanging minor drug couriers is working?

“More than half of those hanged are foreign nationals and those who are executed are not generally the kingpins but small-scale drug couriers like Van Nguyen.

Singapore has had, by its own admission, a serious and growing drug problem for a number or years – so much for the deterrent value of the death penalty” Professor Wilson said.

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