PETALING JAYA: The sentences of inmates on death row should be reviewed in light of the possible abolition of the death penalty in the near future, said Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh (pic).
Urging for applications to stay the death sentence be allowed, the lawyer said he would file an application to the Federal Court on behalf of one of his clients currently on death row for an offence under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
“It is hoped that the said proposed application will be allowed and applied to all other inmates currently on death row as the death sentence is irreversible,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He also urged that the sole discretion of imposing the death penalty or commuting it to a lighter sentence be given to the courts.
He noted that at present, the court requires a certificate from the Public Prosecutor, who acts on behalf of the Attorney General (AG), before it can consider commuting the sentence.
“In other words, the discretion to commute the death penalty to a lesser sentence, in reality, lies in the hands of the AG and not the court as the court would be helpless if the Public Prosecutor does not issue such a certificate,” he said.
Ramkarpal also lauded the possible abolition of the Sedition Act as it was a “political tool to stifle dissent”.
He urged the courts to adjourn cases under the Act, pending its review in Parliament.
On Wednesday, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was time to review existing laws that were outdated such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act, Prevention of Crime Act, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and the mandatory death penalty for certain crimes.
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