SPECIAL REPORT | Justice for victims of crimes and their families is one of the strong arguments for death penalty supporters to keep the death penalty.
Is eye for an appropriate punishment, or is it simply an easier way to achieve justice than to correct the flaws in our current justice system?
Previous articles in this series reflected the front voices of criminal systems practitioners. Some maintained support for the death penalty because they believed that the system provided sufficient safeguards to avoid judicial confusion. However, others have called this system a question mark.
Anyway, how should we justify justice for victims of crime and their families after the death penalty has been removed? Can we provide them with sufficient support systems? What are the support systems you need? These are important questions that need to be addressed, including advocates of the abolition of the death penalty.
Amnesty International-Malaysia (AI-M) has been actively involved in the abolitionist movement for several decades. In 2010, together with other activists, he campaigned for the Malaysian drug dealer placed in the death row in Singapore, Yong Vui Keong, to save him gallows. After four years of fighting, his sentence was commute to life imprisonment.
In response to the recent AI-M debate, he is well aware that there are quarters in which it is claimed that the death penalty will remain. Its executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu told Malaysiakini that taking a stand against the death penalty does not mean being against the victims of the crime. "Let me be very firm, supporters of anti-death in no way trivialize the losses and suffering of the families of the victims" – said Shamini.
She pointed out that the death penalty is often used as part of a faulty justice system and that "no criminal justice system is perfect, which is why we do not hear the government claim it."
For example, the lack of good legal representation and the skills of lawyers can affect the quality of judgment, while the confession of torture is nothing new except the lack of independence in which forensic experts and other specialists participate.
These factors can lead to the execution of innocent people, such as the longest convicted man in the world, Iwao Hakamada from Japan, who spent 45 years on death row …