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41. Posted by AlexT (Respected Member 245 posts) 11y

I am probably being a bit sceptical here but I would seem that the death penalty seems to provide governments with a means of gaining support of the population through hard stances against serious crimes, whilst at the same time saving a fair bit of money. Everyone seems to overlook the money that is saved by executing criminals who would otherwise be staying in prison for the rest of their life. Just food for thought...

42. Posted by Peter (Admin 5813 posts) 11y

Quoting Hien

You have to understand that we have such a system where nobody is above the law, and no exception can be made on any laws for anybody if the laws do not permit it. Even the King himself or any royalty members does not have special privileges or the immunity from the law.

Maybe some of our media reports would help people understand why so many Australians are upset over this.

The current affairs show I was watching tonight pointed out a similar case where a German girl did in fact have her life spared despite carrying more drugs than the mandatory death sentence threshold. Instead, she got a 5 year sentence. Supposedly due to 'good behaviour' .. ahem And who knows if they know what they're talking about, but many of our politicians have said that a 'mercy' plea is in fact possible under Singaporean law.

Quoting The Age

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd called on the Singaporean cabinet to reconsider its position.

"Singapore law provides for mercy to be sought and we strongly believe that mercy should be applied in the case of this young Australian," he said in a statement.

Source

Also, it's worth pointing out that though Malaysia's laws may seem similar, they would in fact likely not have been as strict with Van Nguyen.

This article points out that,

He had not passed through Singapore immigration and he had no intention of entering Singapore. Even neighbouring Malaysia — which has hanged three Australians for drug trafficking since the 1980s — acknowledges a legal distinction between people who formally enter a country and those who are merely in transit (those found with drugs in transit face a relatively modest jail sentence).

43. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

I don't understand that logic. Do drug addicts not have a choice? If that really made so much sense, then shouldn't cigarette company execs also get the death penalty? How many millions of people have died at their hands already?

Both the drug trafficer and the addict made choices. That's why Evan isn't incorrect in what he says. But I think you're talking about a different debate on whether drugs should be legalized. If a woman walks down a dark alley and is murdered. Did she not have a choice not to walk down that alley ? A long time ago, it wasn't illegal to murder someone. Most laws (besides being a prevention) are meant to protect the victims, even from their own bad choices.

Rightnow, it's illegal to sell cigarettes to minors in Canada based on a fine. Prohabition in the US was tried. The severity of the punishment is what a society can stomache. Should all the employees of cigarette companies be executed ? If you pass that law, maybe so.

44. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

Maybe some of our media reports would help people understand why so many Australians are upset over this.

The current affairs show I was watching tonight pointed out a similar case where a German girl did in fact have her life spared despite carrying more drugs than the mandatory death sentence threshold. Instead, she got a 5 year sentence. Supposedly due to 'good behaviour' .. ahem And who knows if they know what they're talking about, but many of our politicians have said that a 'mercy' plea is in fact possible under Singaporean law.

She avoided the death sentence because...

Quoting http://www.aseannewsnetwork.com/2005/06/singapore-releases-german.html

... In Singapore, which is known for its extremely strict drug laws, capital punishment is mandatory when the defendant possesses more than 500 grams of marijuana. But later tests showed that the drugs seized in the case were less pure than previously thought and for legal purposes amounted to only 287 grams. This finding helped Bohl avoid the death penalty. ...

Since the drugs in her possesion did not exceed the level set in the act, another act which does not carry a death sentence was used to prosecute her, which in her cas, a 5 years sentence. So, it was not the diplomatic maneuvering that actually helped her avoid the capital punishment.


The good behaviour helped her in obtaining an early release, not avoiding the death sentence.

Quoting http://www.aseannewsnetwork.com/2005/06/singapore-releases-german.html

... Three years into her sentence, however, the Justice Ministry in the southeast Asian country announced on Friday that Bohl would be released two years early from the women's prison in Changi. The ministry did not say why she would be set free on July 15, but her lawyer said it was because of good behavior. ...

In Malaysia and Singapore (and many other countries), having a good behaviour in the prison allows one to be released earlier.

45. Posted by Peter (Admin 5813 posts) 11y

Quoting Q_Zhang

Both the drug trafficer and the addict made choices. That's why Evan isn't incorrect in what he says. But I think you're talking about a different debate on whether drugs should be legalized. If a woman walks down a dark alley and is murdered. Did she not have a choice not to walk down that alley ?

Yes, of course, but she did not walk down that alley knowing the danger. And you can't take an alley to court :) A drug addict has no reason not to know the danger, nor does a smoker.

To me crimes where the victim had no choice are more severe - ie, a kid is run down by a guy going through a red light or someone being killed by a drunk driver. And yet, somehow people think drug trafficking is a more serious crime than running a red light.

I'm not suggesting that drugs be legalised (though I can also see a case for that). It's the logic that somehow he should die, because otherwise his actions *could have* killed people that gets me. You have to recognise that that argument is flawed. And yet, it's that argument that stands at the heart of being able to justify his death.

46. Posted by Peter (Admin 5813 posts) 11y

Quoting Hien

Since the drugs in her possesion did not exceed the level set in the act, another act which does not carry a death sentence was used to prosecute her, which in her cas, a 5 years sentence. So, it was not the diplomatic maneuvering that actually helped her avoid the capital punishment.

Yeah, I read that. That clearly is a face saver though. I doubt very much that the laws include a clause about how 'pure' the drugs might be. They still weighed more than the legal requirement.

And even then, you must admit that if 215 grams of drugs was the only difference between death and a measly 5 years in prison, something different clearly must have gone on there.

I just think Germany has more political bargaining power than wee Australia.

47. Posted by moscowmetr (Full Member 267 posts) 11y

Just a couple of hours ago, the courts allowed Nguyen to hold his mothers hand while the execution is carried out.

Street value of said Heroin is approx 1/4 million Aussie Dollars. Im sure in CrimeLand people die for alot less then that. You mess with the bull, you get the horns. Compassion level low for this case. That is alot of weight to be caught with.

Anyone know what the punishment in America is to get caught with that much Heroin at JFK airport is?

48. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

Yes, of course, but she did not walk down that alley knowing the danger. And you can't take an alley to court :) A drug addict has no reason not to know the danger, nor does a smoker.

To me crimes where the victim had no choice are more severe - ie, a kid is run down by a guy going through a red light or someone being killed by a drunk driver. And yet, somehow people think drug trafficking is a more serious crime than running a red light.

I'm not suggesting that drugs be legalised (though I can also see a case for that). It's the logic that somehow he should die, because otherwise his actions *could have* killed people that gets me. You have to recognise that that argument is flawed. And yet, it's that argument that stands at the heart of being able to justify his death.

A lot of women avoid walking down dark alleys these days. This is a good discussion.

I still say laws are designed to prevent crime. I don't know enough about the various illegal drugs (cocaine, heroine, etc.) but I think they being highly addictive has something to do with it. Smoking is addictive but you don't have to go through rehab & serious withdrawal to quit. I think the laws are what it is to prevent people who aren't fully aware of how addictive it is from "experimenting".

The running the red light is more of a case of proving intent. If someone ran the red light because they saw their ex-wife walking across, then I think they'd be tried for murder instead of calling it an "accident". I'm not sure, but it might even be part of police procedure to check that. Look at what happened at Columbine highschool where the kid went in with a rifle and started mowing down students. I didn't follow the story, but I think they went all out to try him as an adult and throw the book at him. So yeah, I would agree, hurting people who are just minding their own business is a much higher level of crime.

49. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 11y

Quoting Peter

I just think Germany has more political bargaining power than wee Australia.

Really ? Even in Asia ?

50. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting moscowmetr

Anyone know what the punishment in America is to get caught with that much Heroin at JFK airport is?

Since JFK is in New York, New York state laws would apply. The maximum sentencing for "possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of herion" are:

The maximum penalty for a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)(i) (possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin) is a minimum of five years to a maximum of 40 years imprisonment, four years minimum to lifetime maximum supervised release, a $2,000,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.

Source

If JFK was a layover and your final destination is in another US state - both New York and the state of destination could have a chance at convicting you. Possession laws vary from state to state.

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