Singapore has reportedly announced plans to amend laws that dictate a mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers to be sentenced to life imprisonment at the discretion of the courts.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean revealed that the proposed new law will give courts the discretion to sentence some offender to life in prison with caning instead of to death, provided that their case fitted the following requirements:
...firstly, the trafficker must have only played the role of courier, and must not have been involved in any other activity related to the supply or distribution of drugs; secondly, discretion will only apply if having satisfied the first requirement, either the trafficker has cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau in a substantive way, or he has a mental disability which substantially impairs his appreciation of the gravity of the act.
The new law will mean authorities will now focusing more of their efforts on nabbing the masterminds running these drug syndicates.
The surprise decision indicates a small but significant shift in the city-state's strict laws on drug-related crime. The DPM also stressed that the proposed changes are not a departure from Singapore’s “zero tolerance” approach against drugs.