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Teo Chee Hean, Crime

Death penalty no longer automatic for some drug, murder offences

Published on Jul 10, 2012 6:00 AM

The death penalty will be changed, allowing judges discretion to impose life imprisonment in certain specific instances of drug trafficking and murder.

For drug trafficking, two 'specific, tightly-defined' conditions must both be met, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in Parliament on Monday.

First, the person must have only played the role of a courier, and not have been involved in any other activity related to drug supply or distribution. Second, the trafficker must also have co-operated with anti-narcotics authorities in a 'substantive' way, or has a mental disability that 'substantially impairs' his appreciation of the gravity of the act.

The death penalty will remain in most circumstances, such as for drug kingpins and distributors, said DPM Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister.

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