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#Mercy4Jabing: Grant clemency to Sarawakian Kho Jabing

This petition had 605 supporters

We, the undersigned, appeal to the President and Cabinet of the Republic of Singapore to commute the death sentence of 31-year-old Sarawakian Kho Jabing to life imprisonment. 

On 5 November the Court of Appeal of Singapore granted Malaysian national Kho Jabing a temporary stay of execution to allow for the consideration of two last-minute legal challenges.

In April 2016 the Court of Appeal decided to uphold the death sentence, and lift the stay of execution. This means that Kho Jabing has now exhausted all his legal options, and only mercy from the President of the Republic of Singapore can save him.

Kho Jabing and a co-defendant were convicted of murder on 30 July 2010. At the time of his conviction, the death penalty was the mandatory punishment for murder, and both were sentenced to death. On 24 May 2011, the Court of Appeal substituted his co-defendant’s conviction to “robbery with hurt” and confirmed Kho Jabing’s conviction and death sentence for murder. In 2012 Singapore’s mandatory death penalty laws were reviewed and some discretion in the sentencing of cases involving drug trafficking and murder was introduced.

On 30 April 2013 the Court of Appeal confirmed that Kho Jabing’s case fell within the definition of murder under Section 300(c) of the Penal Code, for instances when there is no intention to cause death and judges can impose at their discretion either the death penalty or life imprisonment and caning. In 2013, the High Court resentenced Kho Jabing to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane, but the prosecution appealed this decision. On 14 January 2015, the Court of Appeal re-imposed the death sentence against Kho Jabing in a three-to-two decision.

While we do not attempt to downplay the severity of Kho Jabing’s crime, we note that he did not intend to kill the victim of the robbery. Furthermore, we are concerned with the re-imposition of the death sentence on him by a slim three-to-two majority by the Court of Appeal.

Considering that a High Court judge and two judges of appeal did not feel that the death penalty was appropriate in Kho Jabing’s case, we strongly believe that it would be unsafe for Singapore to hang him. We therefore urge the President of the Republic of Singapore to exercise his prerogative to grant clemency, on the advice of the Cabinet, so as to prevent an unsafe execution.

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