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Singapore Death Penalty Quick Facts
Conditions on death row

Death row inmates are housed in cells of roughly 3 m (30 ft).Walls make up three sides, while the fourth is vertical bars. They are equipped with a toilet, sleeping mat and a bucket for washing. Exercise is permitted twice a day for half an hour at a time.

Execution time frame:

Usually four days for non foreigners

1 - 2 weeks for foreigners.

The condemned is allowed to watch television or listen to the radio. Special meals of their choice are also cooked, if within the prison budget. Visitation rights are increased from one 20 minute visit per week, though no physical contact is allowed with any visitors.

Hangings are conducted at Dawn on Fridays

Capital Case heard by single judge of High Court of Singapore

One appeal only

If appeal fails - option: President Pardon but rarely given. Last one May 1998. Only six granted since 1965.

Penalty


Under Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, any person found in possession of more than the following quantities of drugs receives a mandatory death sentence:

Section 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act lists the amount of controlled drugs beyond which, the person who carries them shall be presumed to possess them for the purpose of drug trafficking unless proven otherwise:
  • Opium: 100 grammes
  • Morphine: 3 grammes
  • Diamorphine (Heroin): 2 grammes
  • Cannabis: 15 grammes
  • Cannabis mixture: 30 grammes
  • Cannabis resin: 10 grammes
  • Cocaine: 3 grammes
  • Methamphetamine: 25 grammes
  • 10 grammes of any or any combination of the following:
    • N, a-dimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine (MDMA)
    • a-methyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine (MDA)
    • N-ethyl-a-methyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy)phenethylamine (MDEA)


It should be noted that, unless authorized by the government, the possession, consumption, manufacturing, import, export, or trafficking of these and other controlled drugs in any amount are illegal.

Caning

Judicial caning was introduced to Singapore by the British when they controlled Singapore as part of their colonial empire. Thousands of male criminals are caned in Singapore each year for both violent and non-violent offences such as vandalism, overstaying one's visa or illegal immigration.

Caning is never ordered on its own, but always as an addition to a prison sentence.

The male to be caned is strapped in a bending-over position to a metal or wooden frame. The punishment is delivered to the bare buttocks, the number of strokes being specified in the court's sentence. The rattan cane is 1.2 metres (3.9 ft) long and up to 1.27 centimetres (0.5 in) thick, considerably bigger and heavier than a school cane. The cane is soaked in water beforehand to prevent it from splitting and make it more flexible; the Prisons Department denies that the cane is soaked in brine, but notes that the cane is treated with antiseptic before use. Parts of the man's body are padded to prevent accidental damaging of the kidneys and the genitals. Permanent scarring of the buttocks can occur in the case of a large number of strokes.

The punishment is carried out privately in a prison, in the presence of a prison officer and a medical officer. Contrary to widespread belief, it is never administered in public, and never has been. The caning is carried out in a single session, and not by 'instalments'. Thus, a man sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane (the maximum possible sentence) will have the entire sentence carried out at once. The persons carrying out the caning are specially trained prison officers.

A smaller cane of "light rattan" is used for juvenile offenders (boys under 16), who may be sentenced to caning only by the High Court and not by the local courts.

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