I recently read about Aussie Nguyen Tuong Van, who is due to be hanged on Friday, December 2nd for drug trafficking. Despite persistent official pleas from Australia, the Singaporian government insists that he be hanged and it all looks very bleak for him.
I just can't decide whether I agree with this ruling or not. He says he did it to pay off his brother's debts. As noble as this cause might be, the heroin he would have been supplying would quite probably have destroyed many families in Singapore (or whatever country they were due to be sent to). It's a seriously bad drug. Furthermore, lots of people in this world are in debt (like half the population of the UK) but they don't all resort to transporting class A drugs.
But still, given he has no previous convictions (which make his brother-in-debt story more plausible), is this crime really worth the gallows? Personally I'm in support of capital punishment, but only for murder. And even then, only murder of the most evil/heinous variety. But then I think, well, he shouldn't have done it, and everyone knows how strict Singapore is with drugs, and if they are seen to relax their rules then it could make drug trafficking worse.
I think overall I disagree with his execution. Had he had previous convictions, or evidence suggested he had done this on more than one occasion, then I wouldn't feel much for the man. His poor family though...
There, I reached a verdict!
Edit: If you want to contribute to the messages of appeal to the Singaporian government, check out this page on Amnesty International. I felt that I should do it, even though it won't make a blind bit of difference.