After several years of battling against his death sentence, convicted murderer Kho Jabing was executed today around 3.30pm at Changi Prison.
Initially meant to be hanged at dawn today, the 31-year-old Sarawakian was granted a stay of execution late last night, hours before he was due for the gallows. His lawyer Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss filed for a stay of execution yesterday afternoon, but it was promptly dismissed.
She appealed against that dismissal, which managed to halt Kho’s execution that was supposed to take place this morning. It was dismissed later on, with the five-panel Court of Appeal chiding Kho’s lawyers for “abusing the process of the court”.
Though anti-death penalty activists We Believe in Second Chances have fought hard against the sentence, urging clemency from the President of Singapore, the temporary stay of execution was lifted.
Rachel Zeng of the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign stated that Kho was hanged at about 3.30pm after meeting his family for the last time.
The execution is a grim end to years and years of legal battles ever since Kho was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty after he killed Chinese construction worker Cao Ruyin in 2008. He was convicted for bashing the victim on the head with a tree branch in a violent robbery near Geylang Drive, causing 14 skull fractures.
Initially sentenced to death in 2010, he was spared the noose in 2013, when he was re-sentenced to a life’s term in jail. An appeal by prosecutors, however, re-instated his death sentence — a judgement that has failed to be overturned ever since.
Amnesty International — who’ve criticised Kho’s death sentence before — have since condemned the execution, calling it a disgrace that it was conducted with “such indecent haste” after his final appeal was denied today.
“Clemency should have been granted, more so given the uncertainty and divided opinion surrounding Kho Jabing’s fate over the past six years,” said Josef Benedict, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office.
“Singapore is at a crossroads. It must decide whether it wants to join most of the world by protecting human rights and ridding itself of the death penalty, or remain among the minority of countries that insist on the implementation of this cruel and inhumane punishment.”
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