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Malaysian Federal Court Says Not Every Criminal Accused of Murder Deserves the Death Penalty

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Source: FocusMalaysia & UtusanMalaysia

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The Federal Court is calling on trial judges to use their utmost discretion in giving all murder accused the death penalty.

This stemmed from the murder case of an American in Malaysia, Gerald Wayne Mickelson, 66, who killed his wife Guilda Mickelson, 61, in a hotel room in KL. Instead of the death penalty, he was given a mere 7 year imprisonment sentence.

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Justice Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal in reducing the sentence held the murder was committed upon a sudden quarrel in the heat of passion.

“The death of the deceased was caused by the appellant in the heat of passion,” held Dhaliwal.

Dhaliwal found that the accused was not cruel as it was not premeditated and no weapons were used.

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As such, this case would fall under Exception 4 of Section 300 of the Malaysian Penal Code. Section 300 relates to murders and Exception 4 relates to Sudden Fights.

There are 5 Exceptions under Section 300 which allows a murder charge to be reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. When this happens, an accused will not be hanged but will instead be jailed up to 30 years.

“Even if there is no submission by the accused on this issue, it remains the duty of the court to ensure its decision is correct on the facts and the evidence is sustainable in law,” Dhaliwal held.

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So Dhaliwal wants judges to look into all angles first before sending an accused to the gallows.

 

There has been large amounts of discussions on the death penalty in Malaysia.

Although there were calls to abolish the mandatory death penalty for drug cases, a study by the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network found in 38 cases of drug trafficking in Malaysia from March 2018 to October 2020, only four of them were sentenced to life imprisonment instead of death.

The story of Malaysian Nagaenthran Dharmalingam recently shook the nation and saw everyone coming together to support abolising his unfair execution.

What are your thoughts on the dealth penalty? Leave your comments in the comment section.

 

Also read: Singapore High Court Temporarily Suspends Execution of Malaysian Prisoner Nagaenthran

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Source: Utusan
Source: AsiaSamachar
Source: Kinokuniya


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