"China executes British national despite pleas - Posted: 29 December 2009 1256 hrs
BEIJING: A British man with reported mental health problems was executed in China on Tuesday for drug smuggling despite last-minute pleas for clemency, the British government announced."
Another 'last minute' pleas for clemency by a foreign government not to execute a convicted criminal for a crime that is mandated to death penalty for its citizen caught and trial in another country.
I do not know the actual medical condition of this British man who were caught with 8-kg of heroin. So I will not comment on this. At the same time, the lessons for me are:
1. insisting that one's country not having a capital punishment for certain crimes does not give one the right to call another country that clearly spelt out the consequence of such a crime 'savage or barbaric or inhumane'. In Singapore, our country has executed many drug traffickers after a fair trial;
2. while it is the obligation of the government of that country to plead for clemency on behalf of its citizen convicted of capital penalty in another country, it is the obligation of the country in which the crime was committed to carry out the capital penalty as prescribed in the laws of the land. It is strictly business and nothing personal. There is absolutely no need to drag the emotion part of the equation into the picture for the nations involved. Of course, the emotion of the defendant's family and loved ones have to be handled with care and compassion;
3. in this particular case, it is hoped that medical evidence acceptable to both nations were examined and similar conclusion reached. In the event that the conclusions are very different, the local evidence prevailed unless there is CLEAR miscarriage of justice. If it is truly miscarriage of justice, the foreign government can pursue it internationally. Of course, it is rare that a nation will go to the extend for a single citizen.
May all would be criminals be put on notice. That certain crimes are punishable by death sentence and in certain countries, they are very serious about carrying the punishment out!!