The Singapore government should read this.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of America’s right wing governor, is reported to be agonising over a gubernatorial decision, one that you would have thought he needn’t think about at all, he being such a leading right winger.
As the governor he has been asked to grant clemency to the most prominent prisoner on California's death row - the founder of the Crips street gang, Stanley Tookie Williams. Williams is scheduled to die by lethal injection on December 13, 11 days after Nguyen Van Tuong in Changi prison.
Schwarzenegger has been swamped with petitions, that pointed out what Williams has done, namely publicly repudiated his violent past, penned a series of books for children and teenagers warning them of the dangers of getting involved in gangs, and authored a protocol for achieving peace between warring gangs, which has been successfully applied from Switzerland to South Africa.
A host of celebrities have supported the petition for clemency. Large crowds have demonstrated on his behalf last weekend outside San Quentin prison, near San Francisco.
However, the families of Williams’ victims have also petitioned Schwarzenegger to carry on with the planned execution. Also, the authorities at San Quentin argue that Mr Williams has remained a linchpin of the Crips gang from behind bars, despite his public conversion to the cause of peace.
Schwarzenegger played smart and called for a private meeting with lawyers representing both sides just 15 days before Williams' scheduled execution date. From the meeting, he will make his decision. Now, regardless of his decision, it shows a willingness to hear a clemency appeal for a killer, whilst the Singapore government has dismissed that straightaway for a young man who has yet to kill anyone.
The argument about Nguyen’s 400 gms of Heroin representing 26,000 shots is nonsense as reader Dave Jarvis has written in my previous posting Nguyen Van Tuong - the Final Nail in his Coffin
He said that based on a number of factors, “the number of hits from a gram of pure heroin averages out to little more than 14. Van Tuong Nguyen trafficked 396.2 grams of heroin into Singapore. This is approximately 5,600 doses”
Dave went further by disabusing the Singapore’s claim, and averred that the “400 grams of heroin would not come close to ruining even 5,600 lives. Rather, the heroin would most likely supply people already abusing it”.
Dave added “Van Tuong Nguyen would not have sent 26,000 people to their deaths from 400 grams of heroin. Nor would the lives of 26,000 people have been ruined. Far more likely is that six people would get a year's worth of hits. And for this he must hang?”
He concluded pointedly “Call it dreadful, call it dense, call it incomprehensible ... but do not call it justice”.