Mercy for Kho Jabing: An open letter to the Cabinet [URGENT APPEAL – Singapore Working Group on Death Penalty]

    jabing

    We urge the Cabinet to reconsider his clemency in light of the fact that there was no unanimous decision even at the highest court of the land, and our learned judges were split in their opinion of whether the death penalty was appropriate in his case

    Dear distinguished Ministers,

    We are writing this letter of appeal for Kho Jabing, whose petition for clemency was rejected on 19 October 2015. We urge the Cabinet to reconsider his clemency in light of the fact that there was no unanimous decision even at the highest court of the land, and our learned judges were split in their opinion of whether the death penalty was appropriate in his case.

    We also seek the compassion of the Cabinet for the family of Jabing, who have gone through much suffering since his original sentencing. His father passed away while Jabing’s case was ongoing, and Jabing’s sister Jumai believes that her father’s illness prior to his death was due to Jabing’s incarceration, which came as a great blow for him. His mother, who has been unable to work due to health reasons, has lost both her sources of financial support and has been living on the goodwill of her neighbours and minimal state welfare ever since then.

    On top of her ill-health, the thought of losing Jabing, her only son, is too much for his mother to bear. We cannot imagine the effect his death will have on her wellbeing.

    We understand the grievousness of his offence but hope that he will be given a second chance and a more meaningful way to atone for his crime.

    We hope that our Ministers will be compassionate and consider all factors related, especially the impact of capital punishment on Jabing’s family, and exercise mercy by commuting his death sentence to that of life imprisonment.

    Yours sincerely,
    Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Background

    Last update: 17 June 2015

    Kho Jabing, 31, was convicted and sentenced to death under section 300 (c) of the Penal Code.

    In the evening of 17 February 2008, Jabing, together with four of his friends, was at Geylang. According to Jabing’s statement, the intention was to go Geylang to commit a robbery, as their previous plan to rob two co-workers was aborted.

    When they spotted their victims along Lorong 4, Jabing assaulted the deceased with what was described as either a piece of wood or a tree branch, which he had picked up while approaching the victim. Galing, his co-accused, also assaulted the victim with a metal belt buckle. The victim later succumbed to the severe and multiple injuries inflicted by the piece of wood.

    The Court of Appeal affirmed Jabing’s conviction on 24th May 2011. The court held that it was beyond reasonable doubt that Jabing intended to inflict multiple head injuries on the deceased. Jabing was thus sentenced to suffer the mandatory death penalty, which was still in place during his sentence and conviction.

    Jabing was afforded an opportunity to be re-sentenced because of the amendments to the death penalty regime in 2013. On 18 November 2013, Justice Tay Yong Kwang re-sentenced Jabing to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. The prosecutor appealed the re-sentencing decision. On 14th January 2015, the Court of Appeal, by a majority decision (with two out of the five judges dissenting) overturned Justice Tay’s decision and sentenced Jabing to death.

    The majority justified imposing the death sentence on the basis that Jabing “exhibited a blatant disregard for human life” due to the “sheer savagery and brutality exhibited by the Respondent (Jabing)” in inflicting the blows to the deceased.

    The minority judges however, disagreed with the death sentence imposed by the majority. Justice Woo Bih Li and Justice Lee Seiu Kin reasoned that there was a “reasonable doubt (as to) whether Jabing’s blows were all inflicted when the deceased was laying on the ground” which made it “unsafe to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that he (Jabing) acted in away which exhibited a blatant disregard for human life”.

    Jabing has exhausted all legal avenues. He is currently awaiting a reply from the President on his clemency petition, which was submitted in April this year.

    Links:

    Source : swgdp.wordpress.com

    Background : secondchances.asia

    Target Institution

    President of Singapore
    His Excellency Tony Tan Keng Yam Office of the President of the Republic of Singapore

    Orchard Road, Singapore 238823
    Fax: (65) 67353135
    Email: [email protected]

    Prime Minister of Singapore
    Lee Hsien Loong Prime Minister’s Office

    Istana Annexe, Orchard Road, Singapore 238823
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    Minister of Law and Home Affairs
    Mr. K Shanmugam

    100 High Street, #08-02 The Treasury, Singapore 179434
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    How to Support The Campaign

    Dear all,

    This is to inform you of the imminent execution of Kho Jabing, a Malaysian national from Sarawark.
    It is currently scheduled for GMT/UTC 22:00, Thursday, 5 Nov 2015 (6:00am, Friday, 6 Nov, Singapore time)
    You may also have received information on this case from our other partners here.
    He has exhausted all normal appeals through the courts and his clemency application was rejected on the 19th of October.

    This is a recent petition focusing the unique problem of Jabing’s case within the criminal justice system in Singapore.

    We would like to request the members of your organisations and that your networks to consider writing an appeal to the members of the Cabinet and the Parliament whose addresses have been copied at the bottom.

    Sincerely

    Soe Min Than
    Think Centre
    Towards A Vibrant Civil Society