Letters to Editor

Dear Editor 

The death penalty imposed upon Melbourne man Nguyen Tuong Van has sparked much debate in the media especially on talk back radio as to whether we should have the death penalty or not. We are well aware that a few hundred years ago people were hanged in Europe for poaching (stealing) a rabbit and the ruling classes did not need to look at or question their part and selfishness in ignoring the cause of such (supposed) crimes, although greed, oppression, gross injustice and unfairness was rife in the way they lived their lives. All they had to do was sweep their problems under the carpet by hanging the perpetrators without the need to change anything, which to a large extent our leaders still do today.

The case against having a death penalty was the gross miscarriages of justice that have been exposed over the years, we are aware of cases like Derek Bentley and Timothy Evans in the UK when innocent slow thinking people were sent to the gallows. 

Since DNA testing became available in the southern states of the US, about eighty percent of the condemned (mainly blacks) were found to be innocent. 

However, who are we to condemn a country like Singapore where you can walk the streets and experience the feeling of total safety, that same feeling that we could acclaim in our country a few decades ago, we now live in fear, no one is safe, even going shopping you could be mugged by some low life who believes he has the right to steal your possessions, or fear for your venerable aging parents that they could be bashed in their own home for a few dollars of the pension. 

Sadly, we no longer have deterrents that scare these low life’s our Governments and courts rationalize the cost of incarcerating, which allows these crims to be back out on the streets in an unacceptable short time. I wonder how many would re-offend. 

If jails were more like those in Asian countries and you had to work 40 hours a week to be able to buy better food, most of these criminals may well think twice before re offending, they have no concept of how hard it is to work, statistics show that most are second and third generations of people that know no other way than to live off the dole. 

How much more can we as a society endure, and when are our law makers and leaders going to do something, 

Or is the only solution to adopt Singapore’s stance.


Margie Bass 

77 Keymer Street 

Belmont WA 6104 ...................................................................................................................................