His Excellency S R Nathan
President of the Republic of Singapore
Orchard Road Singapore 238823
November 3, 2005
Smuggling 396.2 grams of heroin is a terrible crime; but premeditated
execution is heinous.
Capital punishment is a deplorable act; it is a cruel and unusual
discipline shackled to history’s barbarous past. A death sentence
eliminates retribution; it severs the establishment of moral conscience
and mercilessly smothers all ethical instincts. Execution is a crime
that cannot be undone, and murder is an unjustly permanent measure when
weighed against fleeting transgressions.
Hanging Van Tuong Nguyen demonstrates to the world that Singapore’s
judicial system has principles set no higher than those of criminals
themselves. To sell a man’s life for an evil that will be forgotten
faster than death oft takes its toll is beyond comprehension. Worse
still, it lifts the offender to the moral equality of societal norms.
Repaying stupidity, ignorance, and lack of forethought with termination
can only be considered uncaring, unenlightened, and underdeveloped. Any
government with the insolence to wield such a law shall be shrouded in
those very traits. Disciplinary alternatives are available that meet the
needs of society (which the State is supposed to represent), while being
a fair reproach for the felony.
Where iron rules are forged, iron fists and iron curtains have both been
known to rise. Leaders like Lenin, Mao, and Hitler lacked the mercy that
separates humans from hellions. Abolish capital punishment in your
country. Van Tuong Nguyen must certainly realise the seriousness of his
mistake; make him pay, but not with his life. Grant him clemency; and in
so doing, show the world Singapore’s capacity for compassion.