Death Penalty no longer automatic for drug-related and murder cases
Offender's fate is now at the hands of the presiding judge.
Here's an excerpt of Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee's speech:
The death penalty has been an important part of our criminal justice system for a very long time, similar to the position in a number of other countries.
Singaporeans understand that the death penalty has been an effective deterrent and an appropriate punishment for very serious offences, and largely support it.
The Government regularly reviews the efficacy of our criminal justice system, including our penal laws and the applicable sanctions.
In December 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs commenced studies relating to the application of the death penalty in our laws. In July 2011, based on the studies, we started a general review of the drug situation and the death penalty as it applied to all our laws.
The review came to a number of conclusions. It reaffirmed the relevance of the death penalty for all the offences to which it currently applies.
Today, drug traffickers make up the majority of offenders who face capital punishment. For drug traffickers, we concluded that the mandatory death penalty should continue to apply in most circumstances.
However, where two specific, tightly-defined conditions are met, which I will explain later, the death penalty will still apply but it will now be at the discretion of the courts.
The review also concluded that we should retain the death penalty in our penal laws today, except that for certain types of homicides, it should no longer be mandatory but be at the discretion of the courts.