Just like most Singaporeans, we never knew much about the death penalty and its applications in Singapore. Then came Yong Vui Kong.
His story was a wake-up call. Suddenly we realised that real people with real stories were being executed in our names. We decided that we couldn’t just stand by and do nothing, and so We Believe In Second Chances was born.
Once we started looking into other cases involving the death penalty, we came across more cases with cause for concern. From a campaign revolving around Vui Kong, Second Chances has grown into a group committed to raising awareness on issues surrounding the death penalty in Singapore, as well as trying to build a community of support around families of death row inmates.
We are advocating for the abolishment of the Mandatory Death Penalty, and hope for a moratorium on the Death Penalty in Singapore.
We believe that it is unjust to impose the mandatory death penalty on anyone, as a mandatory sentence does not allow for mitigating circumstances to be taken into account. A mandatory sentence also deprives experienced judges of the ability for them to exercise their discretionary powers in sentencing. Furthermore, there has so far, been no conclusive evidence in Singapore, or any where else in the world, that the Death Penalty works as a strong deterrent against crime.
Although we believe that everyone needs to take the responsibility for his or her mistakes and that no crime should go unpunished, we also believe that unjust and problematic laws and procedures need to be debated and revised.
The death penalty is an irreversible punishment at the end of a process that is prone to human error, which means that it is all too possible that innocent lives will be taken away. And that is something that should not be allowed to happen.