Malaysia to abolish mandatory death penalty

Malaysia

Aljazeera reports that Malaysia has confirmed it will abolish the mandatory death penalty, which is currently used in a number of offences, including murder and “terrorism”, and leave judges to decide the appropriate punishment.

In a statement, the country’s Law Minister said after reviewing the findings of an Expert Report, the government will now consider proposed alternative sentences for the 11 offences that carry the mandatory death sentence.

It will also look into the use of the death penalty in 22 other offences. Malaysia took its first steps towards the abolition of the death penalty in October 2018 during the short-lived Pakatan Harapan Government, and currently has a moratorium on executions.

More than one thousand 300 people are on death row, according to local media reports, with most of those facing execution convicted of drug offences. United Nations Experts have said countries that retain capital punishment should use it only for “the most serious crimes”.

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