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'Halt execution of trio pending review on death penalty'
Published:  Mar 24, 2016 9:12 AM
Updated: 9:18 AM

The planned executions of three convicts should be halted pending a review on death penalty, the Malaysian Bar said.

P Gunasegar, JJ Ramesh and J Sasivarnam could be executed as early as tomorrow morning, with next-of-kin informed to schedule final visits today and discuss burial arrangements, Bar president Steven Thiru said.

“It is unfair and unjust to carry out the death sentence when there is currently a possibility of reform which, if put into effect, should apply retrospectively,” he said in a statement.

The government is mulling scrapping mandatory death penalties.

However, the review process has been in place for several years without an end in sight.

Last year Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law Nancy Shukri said the government may introduce legislation to cease the mandatory death penalty for drug-related offenses.

While this is commendable, Thiru said the repeal should be for all mandatory death sentences irrespective of the crime committed.

Instead, he said, those meted the mandatory death penalty should be re-sentenced to imprisonment.

The trio who could be hanged tomorrow, were convicted for murder under Section 302, read with Section 34, of the Penal Code.

“The decision on the punishment for offenses should be left to the discretion of the judiciary.

“The death penalty has no place in a society that values human life, justice and mercy,” he said.

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