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THE move to make the death penalty non-mandatory is certainly a progressive step in our criminal justice system.
But I am of the opinion that it should not be completely abolished.
There are ample examples in our country and worldwide of cruel criminals who commit shockingly merciless murders. The manners in which these murders are carried out numbs the mind.
These criminals do not conform to any framework within the criminal justice system, where the rule of law is guided by ethical and moral values of natural justice.
They have no qualms about killing and enjoy carrying out awful assaults before finally taking the lives of their victims, who are sometimes mere “collateral damage”.
These criminals walk among us but do not fit in; they are simply too dangerous to handle for the system. They can be merciless, killing regardless of age and sex. Their dark minds cannot be comprehended by the average person.
Brutal crimes shock society when they happen, but then, they are forgotten – until a similar crime recurs.
These criminals remain just as dangerous in incarceration and have the ability to disguise rehabilitation.
Capital punishment must be maintained for extreme criminal acts, specifically murders and crimes that cause serious mental anguish to victims. Courts must be empowered to decide with necessary checks and balances in place.
It would also be prudent to extract views from investigative limbs in the criminal justice system, especially crime investigators who have confronted such criminals and handled the initial trauma of victims and their families. Public prosecutors who have handled such cases can also be considered.
These experienced investigators should examine crime cases involving, among others, mass murders, bodies cut up and mutilated, and women and children who are murdered after being sexually assaulted.
The voices of surviving victims, and the families and loved ones of those killed in such brutal acts of terror must be heard.
Revenge is not at play here. But closure, fairness and justice to all parties should be part of the equation. – June 18, 2022.
* G. Selva reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.