The European Union (EU) has called on the Singapore authorities to halt the execution of Mr Jeffrey Marquez Abineno, to commute his sentence to a non-capital sentence and to adopt a moratorium on all executions.
Jeefrey was 47 years old at the time of his alleged offence. He was a drug addict. Upon his arrest, his urine sample tested positive for heroin and methamphetamine. He was convicted of delivering drugs to feed his own drug habit. The Prosecution argued that he would be paid in packets of heroin or in cash each time he made a delivery. The Prosecution further conceded that Jeefrey was a ‘courier’, but did not issue him with a certificate of cooperation. The trial Judge therefore had no choice but to sentence Jeefrey to death.
Jeefrey’s lawyers applied to the Court of Appeal to challenge the constitutionality of section 33B of the Misuse of Drugs Act as it gave the Prosecution (and not the Judge) the power to decide who lives and who dies by the issuance or non issuance of the certificate of cooperation. The Court of Appeal however rejected their arguments.
Jeefrey’s lawyers said that they received news on 17 April that his petition for clemency was turned down, and that they understand that he is scheduled to be executed tomorrow at the crack of dawn.
The EU said that it holds a principled position against the death penalty and is opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances.
“The death penalty has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime,” the press statement said.
Adding: “Furthermore, any errors – inevitable in any legal system – are irreversible.”