Published: 06 February 2017
Mr Kok Heng Leun: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether families of death row inmates can be provided with at least three weeks' notice before the sentence is carried out to allow them sufficient time to come to terms with the sentence and make necessary arrangements; (b) what processes are in place to help such families deal with the trauma of the loss of their loved ones; and (c) whether family members of death row inmates can be allowed to have physical contact during the last few visits after the date of execution has been set.
1. After being notified of the date on which the sentence would be carried out, the inmate's family is allowed to visit the inmate more frequently, and for an extended period of time at each visit. The Singapore Prison Service facilitates requests from the inmate and his family as much as possible, while ensuring safety and security of inmates and their families. Physical contact has not been allowed for reasons connected with safety.
2. There will be a period of time between conviction and the carrying out of the sentence, to allow the full legal process to be completed, including any clemency petition. Throughout the inmates' stay in prison, families visit the inmates and also communicate with them. Inmates are also notified at every stage of the legal and clemency process.
3. Counsellors are also attached to each family to support them during the period leading up to and after the carrying out of the sentence.