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Capital Punishment For Drug Trafficking: For And Against

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Drugs are a kind of chemical substance which can change people’s mind and body work such as tobacco, alcohol, heroine, Marijuana and etc (Medlineplus, 2020). Drugs have two sides. Some of the legal drugs are widely used in medicine. However there are a lot of people misuse of drugs. Ex-Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad tried to remove the criminal penalty for those who possess drugs and use small quality drugs for personal use. However, drug trafficking is definitely a crime, people who smuggle with 15g above of morphine or heroin or 200g above of cannabis are considered drug trafficking and this will cause the death sentence (Al Jazeera News, 2019). Based on the director of Bukit Aman Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department (NCID), in the year 2019, they found that 95045 of people were involved in drug related offences. 35,706 people are possessing drugs, and 14,497 were involved in drug trafficking, and another 44,842 of people tested had drug addiction (The Star, 2019).

Meanwhile, according the report of death penalty statistics, in February of 2019, there are about 935 out of 1281 of death row in Malaysia are involved in drug trafficking which mean 73% of them are sentenced to death penalty. In the drug trafficking case, there are about 134 cases made by women and out of 121 cases are from foreign women which mean 90% of the women are from foreign countries and only 10% is in Malaysia. Besides, for the men, 51% are Malaysian and 49% are from other countries (Malaysia Kini, 2019). According to the news, on 12 July 2019, police caught 2 Malaysian men who tried to smuggle 1.05kg drug to Busan, Korea in KLIA. Police found that one of the men put the drug inside his shoe and another did not carry any drug but he is the connection of the first suspect. Two of them are investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (The Sun Daily, 2019).

The reasons why this segment is selected for review

We have selected the section on abolishing the death penalty in Malaysia to raise awareness of the people who do not have knowledge about drug trafficking. We have always been using the death penalty to step against the drug dealers or even on the netting of large fish in illegal drug trafficking (Daily Times, 2020). However, these people will not stop immediately at dealing with drug trafficking yet they have to be educated not only to initiate a crackdown on drug traffickers but also to help reduce drug demand. As a result of Chakravathy (2013) stated that most of the 15-24-year-old populations have the needs of drug consumption to avoid the pressure they get daily which will somehow cause them to death. Youths that belong in these populations are not fully educated yet and may easily get affected by certain issues that bothered them while they choose to make money through drug trafficking. So, the awareness campaign has played an important part in providing information about the seriousness of consequences, prevention, young people’s experiences, qualification of drug trafficking according to the law to them. Parents are still able to do prevention on their children by being open at talking to them about drugs and getting them to involve in any family activity which they will not feel neglected (Narconon Freedom Center, 2018). We hope by raising awareness of drug trafficking will improve the knowledge of youths, social and life skills and rejection of things that are involved with drugs. By that time the death penalty has no use but to abolish it.

Next, we want more people to support abolishing the death penalty by providing an opportunity for rehabilitation on drug trafficking of the young victims. The reason is that many of the victims were innocent and used by the drug syndicates to help them with drug trafficking. According to The Star (2019) said that the drug syndicates recruited young Malaysians as tools by supplying them with free vacations or paid courier jobs while the main purpose is to do drug trafficking. Those youths were innocent until the time they get arrested by the police when being body searched. However, there was a Hong Kong prison chaplain who supports and works hard to stop the trade unions from hiring more youths (The Star, 2019). Other than that, we found that there are campaigns called “Support, Don’t Punish” and “Health for Justice. Justice for Health” was created to place harm reduction in the political agenda by building the capacity of the affected communities and their allies to organize, opening up a dialog with policymakers (Vienna NGO Committee On Drugs, 2019). We instead of defining those youths that do drug trafficking as guilty, why don’t we suggest them to a rehabilitation center which provides counseling and education to help them get back on track. They have made one mistake but it should not be ending their life as it does not abolish all the people on drug trafficking yet it will be replaced by new people.

Review of points abolishing death penalty

Runs counter to the universal protection of human rights. It is stated that the death penalty that runs counter to the universal protection of human rights. We agree with this statement. Abolition of death penalty has become a worldwide trend. There are total 106 countries abolished the capital punishment in law for all crime and total 142 countries had abolished the capital pinishment in law and practice at the end of 2018, and these countries’ crime rate have no seen drastic increase (The Star, 2018). According to Amnesty International (2018), death penalty is a extreamely cruel, inhuman, torture punishment that degrading civilization of the society. Besides, capital punishment breaches human rights, especially the right to live from cruel, inhuman, degrading punishment or treatment and the right to life which are protected under Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In our opinion, every single life should be respected and every human should have the chance to repent for his mistake. If the death rows are executed to death penalties, that means the end of their life and they are not even given an opportunity to repent for their mistakes.

Besides, there are a lot of miscarriage of justice cases. The execution of death penalty are not able to reversed, that means it may cause the innocent people to pay the crime which they did not commit. Example, the case of Prabagaran Srivijayan, a 29 years old man was hanged to death in Singapore. He was arrested due to 22.24g of Heroin was found in the car which he borrowed from his friend at the customs at Malaysia-Singapore border (Rashvinjeet, 2017). However, there are some doubtful points that may prove his innocence. For example, there was no point that he fixed the car window in sight of the customs officer if he knew he was carrying drugs. He still protested his complete innocence until the day he died (N Surendran, 2017). If Prabagaran is truly innocent, that means his right to live was deprived.

Not only his cases, there are a lot of people died under this inhuman and torture system. Based on Amnesty International (2019), many of the death row said that they were forced or manipulated to bring drugs into the country. Besides, there are a total 1,281 people sentenced to death in Malaysia in February 2019, 44% of death row are from foreign countries. Most of them face huge difficulties during interpretation. They are also hard to get adequate consular assistance. This kind of situation might cause the miscarirage happen and cause the innocent people died. Therefore, we agree on the statement that death penalty runs counter to the universal protection of human rights and agree the abolition on death penalty.

Has not been effective in reducing the number of drug traffickers. Furthermore, there is a statement of the death penalty has not been effective in reducing the number of drug traffickers. In our point of view, we agree with this statement. First of all, according to the Dangerous Drug Act 1952, anyone found with 200 grams of cannabis, 40 grams of cocaine, and 15 grams of heroin or morphine will be charged with drug trafficking which is a crime that leads to the capital punishment. Drugs have always the harshest penalties. However, there is always a question of doing the death penalty really being effective in reducing drug trafficking. Previously, there is some research and news discussed about this issue. According to Dr. Tun Mahathir, the mandatory death penalty was sometimes too cruel and not an effective deterrent (Hana Naz Harun, 2020).

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He also mentioned that in 2018, Malaysian had about 130, 788 drug addicts and in 2019, there is an increase of 23.2 percent compared with 2018 in the same period. Besides, in 2015, Harm Reduction International found that in Iran, although they execute the death penalty toward the people who committed drug crimes than any other country, however, there are still the highest rates of opiate addiction in the world (Saady, 2018). Hence, Girelli concluded that there is no evidence to show that death penalty is an effective deterrent to reduce the drug trade and it is able to estimate that although there are drug laws for the drug trafficking, the drug markets still flourish around the world (Harm Reduction International, 2019).

On the other hand, the number of drug traffickers in Indonesia keeps increasing although there is a death penalty (Gunawan, 2014). It may because of the situation of corruption and bribery in the Indonesian legal system which will cause the rich drug traffickers may not afraid and likely to evade the death penalty as they are able to bribe to avoid it (Gunawan, 2014). Based on the cases above happened in various countries, it can show that the death penalty is not that effective enough to reduce drug trafficking. According to Ruth Dreifuss, the former president of Switzerland and chair of the Global Commission on Drug, “People will continue to use drugs, for a variety of reasons, no matter how strict the laws are,” (Mayberry, 2018).

Furthermore, in our point of view, with all this research and news, we decided to disagree with the statement above. We think that the death penalty was not the solution to fight against drug crimes and it is not the responsibility only for the government to face but also the NGOs and private sector. They have to always collaborate with the government to have some activities to prevent drug crimes. Likewise, the death penalty will not always be the solution for this problem and it may lead to a miscarriage of justice when there is a situation of the defendant was innocents, framed or they used the drug for medical purpose.

Does not deal with the root cause of drug trafficking. In addition, the statement states that it does not deal with the root cause of drug trafficking, we disagree with this statement. As Ex-Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad had claimed that drug trafficking is totally a crime (Al Jazeera News, 2019). Therefore, we think that capital punishment should be executed for those who are the main drug trafficker also called as drug kingpins. Moreover, the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore claim that there is no international agreement that using capital punishment is wrong. Malaysia have the sovereign right to execute capital punishment by rooting out the drug kingpins to reduce and prevent people who are innocent that being recruitment to be another drug traffickers (CNA, 2019). Drug traffickers get rich because they smuggle the drugs to those who are innocent and most of the crime like murder and rape are done by the influence of drugs. Besides, abolish capital punishment does not help to decrease the cases of drug kingpins do the drug trafficking and it will be likely increase because of no heavy punishment (Nair. M, 2018). For example, Venezuela is the first country that abolish capital punishment for all crime since 1963 (Hood and Carolyn, 2002, p.10). However, the crime rate in Venezuela is the highest rate in the world. There are about 84.63 and it is rank 1 in the world. The drug related offence case in Venezuela is about 74.90 and this is considered as a high number (Numbeo, 2020). On the other hand, Taiwan is one of the country that still execute capital punishment (Lewis, M.K, 2017). However, the crime rate is 15.39 as considered low and the number of drug related offence cases is about 21.48 and it is also considered low (Numbeo, 2020).

As we can see, abolish capital punishment is not that effective to deal with the root cause of drug trafficking. In our opinion, the drug kingpins are the main person who sends out those innocent people to do drug trafficking, they attract those innocent people by using incredible prices to do illegal trafficking. Therefore, capital punishment is a must to those who are drug kingpins.

The core business of globally organised criminal organisations

Criminal organisations’ global impact of transnational crime has risen to unprecedented levels, from arms smuggling to human trafficking and environmental crime, fell under the umbrella of transnational crime. We disagree on the above statement to abolish capital punishment as criminal organizations have tons of other illegal business and drugs might be one of their richest income sources. Drug smuggling has been a worldwide issue, but human rights law enforcement does not effectively slow down the drug trade or even the operation of criminal organizations. Ruth Dreifuss, former president of Switzerland and chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy stated, people will continue to use drugs, for a variety of reasons, regardless of how stringent the laws are (Mayberry, 2018).

It has been found that organized criminal organizations operating in virtual networks appear to have looser links and organize themselves in horizontal structures; studies have also illustrated the growing importance of smaller gangs. Moreover, fewer organizations are committed solely to drug trafficking, while a large number still work in other criminal sectors (UNODC, 2018). Tackling drug trafficking is a long-standing struggle and battle by law enforcement to suppress criminal organizations. Death penalty is one effective suppression and threats to stop the drug dealers to grow this business.

Malaysia’s de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Kheong stated, in the production of other medical items that can be used for therapeutic purposes such as marijuana or morphine used in cancer care (AlJazeera, 2018). There has been a discernible change in drug policy around the world, particularly in relation to the therapeutic use of cannabis. Mayberry (2018) mentioned where drug policies have long been among the most stringent in Asia, exemplified by the bloody ‘war on drugs’ waged by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Thailand is taking steps to legalize cannabis use for medical and therapeutic purposes. Drugs are not just illegal trades flooded by criminal groups, they are also used for medical research in other countries and non-profit organizations. Yet unless these ‘reforms’ make all illicit drugs available to any potential consumer, such addictive narcotics would have a vast and damaging black market. In fact, by reducing the legal and other pressures that condemn illegal drug use, these ‘reforms’ will also increase the use of illegal drugs and, with this rise, the harms it causes will come (Institute for Behavior and Health, n.d.).

In our point of view, capital punishment is one enforcement of confrontation against criminal organizations as there is no heavier punishment to control illegal transactions and monopolizing the core trade of criminal organizations. The history and seriousness of criminal group smuggling is already a worldwide issue. If only a slight penalty is given for human rights, it will not suppress the prosperity of black market trade and illegal transactions.

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Capital Punishment For Drug Trafficking: For And Against. (2021, October 04). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from
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