After abolition of death sentence, first review on Nov 14

THE first case to review a sentence after the abolition of the mandatory death penalty and life imprisonment will be heard in the apex court on Nov 14.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Ramkarpal Singh said the case under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023, or Act 847, would be heard at the Federal Court in Putrajaya.

He said as at Oct 31, 924 applications for review of sentences had been submitted to court.

Of this figure, 807 were death row inmates while 117 were those sentenced to life imprisonment.“Based on the Prison’s Department’s statistics, there are 1,020 inmates who will benefit from the enforcement of Act 847,” the Deputy Minister said during his ministerial reply in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (Nov 6).

He said the filing and hearing of reviews of sentences would be held in phases.

Meanwhile, Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Damansara) asked if the government would ensure that the sentences of death row inmates who did not file an application to commute their sentence would be subjected to a review.

In response, Ramkarpal said the Prison’s Department had given all inmates on death row and life imprisonment the application form.

“While a majority filed the review, there were a few who did not want to do so.

“However, we have discussed it and the reviews should be filed under any circumstances and brought to the open court,” he said.

Under the Act, the court has the discretion to impose prison sentences of between 30 and 40 years or even the death penalty, depending on the crime.

If not sentenced to death, convicts can also be punished with whipping of no fewer than 12 strokes.

This process is among the first steps in the unity government’s plan to transform the criminal justice system.

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