08 Jul 2019

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Clemency Petition Process, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Question:

Ms Sylvia Lim: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) where persons are sentenced to death, what is the median and average time frame from the final appellate court decision to the date of hanging; (b) where a clemency petition is filed with the President's Office, whether there are guidelines as to the time within which Cabinet advice should be rendered to the President and for the President's Office to reply to the petitioner; and (c) whether it is usual for the prisoner and his family to receive both the reply from President's Office on clemency and the notice of the execution date from the Prisons Service at the same time.

 

Answer:

  1. The median and average time from the final appellate court decision to the date of execution is around one year, for executions in recent years. Each clemency petition is carefully considered on its own merits. There is no expressly stipulated timeline by which Cabinet’s advice should be rendered to the President or by which the President’s Office should reply to the petitioner.

     

  2. The Member asked about the timing of the notification of the clemency outcome and the notification of the execution date. It has been the procedure for a prisoner and his family to receive both the notification of the clemency outcome from the President’s Office and the notification of the execution date from the Singapore Prison Service at the same time since 2016. Following a consideration of the Court of Appeal’s decision in CA/CM 6/2019, we are reviewing the procedure, in particular to notify the prisoner and the petitioner of the clemency outcome some time in advance of the notification of the execution date.
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