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Single Mother Of 9 Sentenced To Death In Sabah Sparked Huge Debate On Death Sentence

Source: Buletin 3

Last Friday (15 October), a single mother of 9 children was given given the mandatory death sentence by the Tawau High Court in Sabah after she was found guilty of possessing and distributing drugs three years ago.

According to Astro Awani, High Court judge, Alwi Abdul Wahab passed the sentence on 55 year-old Hairun Jalmani after find that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a “prima facie” or probable evidence against the accused, while the defence failed to raise reasonable doubts.

Hairun was charged with the possession of syabu or methamphetamine weighing 113.9 grams at a residence in Kampung Pangkalan Wakuba, Tawau in January 2018.

She was charged under Section 39B (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which provides for a mandatory death sentence or life in prison if convicted.

A video footage of the mother falling into despair after the sentence was passed went viral on social media. In the 45-second clip, the mother can be seen in handcuffs and breaking down in tears as she is escorted away from the courthouse.

The video then triggered many Malaysians to question the Malaysia’s legal system and the mandatory death punishment, while others agree that the death penalty was a just and unprejudiced punishment to be given towards drug offenders.

Source: Twitter

Those who agree with the punishment also said that such cases serves as a valuable lesson for the public to stay away from drugs and crime.

Meanwhile, there were some who pointed out that the accused may have committed the crime in an effort to make a living for herself and her 9 children. They too, argued that the law may be flawed at persecuting marginalised and underprivileged groups.

People also criticized that there are a handful of corrupted individuals who remained free currently.

Nonetheless, Malaysia’s criminal justice system is internationally famous, but not in a good way.

According to a 2018 report by the international Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization, it is said that the Malaysian justice system is considerably flawed and has a long record of unjust investigations, arrests and detentions.

The report listed down a number of our country’s laws which is said to be unfair and against human rights. Among them were the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015, the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act or SOSMA, and of course, the country’s mandatory death penalty.

Besides, Amnesty International had reported that Malaysia has a very sketchy record when it comes to handling our accused criminals.

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