S'pore death penalty regime amended

SINGAPORE - Amendments to Singapore's mandatory death penalty regime were made on Wednesday in Parliament.

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said in a statement that when the amendments take effect, the AGC will work with defence counsel to manage the cases of those affected by the revised regime.

Now, if an accused is convicted of murder but is not found to have intended to cause death, the Courts would have the discretion to sentence him to death or to life imprisonment with caning.

But if an accused is convicted of murder and is found to have intended to cause death, he would continue to face the mandatory death penalty.

And where an accused is convicted of trafficking, importing or exporting drugs above the quantity that attracts the mandatory death penalty, he or she can be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment (with caning in certain circumstances) if:

- The accused is found to be only a drug courier.

- The Public Prosecutor certifies that the accused has substantively assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau to disrupt drug trafficking activities within or outside Singapore, or the accused proves that he was suffering from such abnormality of mind that it substantially impaired his mental responsibility for committing the offence.

All 34 persons on death row can now apply to be re-sentenced under the new regime.

The AGC will meet defence counsel to discuss how the legislative amendments affect their clients' cases.

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