SINGAPORE: HEROIN TRAFFICKER FAILS IN ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE DEATH PENALTY
June 29, 2015: Kester Ng Wei Ren, a heroin trafficker who has been on death row for more than four years, failed in his bid to escape the gallows, after the High Court found that he did not meet the criteria to be re-sentenced to life imprisonment under new laws which came into effect on 1 Jannuary 2013, giving judges the discretion to sentence drug offenders to life imprisonment instead of a mandatory death penalty.
Ng was the first to have his application for re-sentencing dismissed, when he failed to convince the court he was a mere courier. He was convicted in 2010 of trafficking in 23.38 grams of heroin and given the then mandatory death penalty. His appeal was dismissed later that year.
From 1 January 2013 until 30 June 2015, eleven drug offenders have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment under the new regime. Four of them were re-sentenced in 2014 and another three were in 2015 (as of 30 June). (Sources: Hands Off Cain and straitstimes.com, 30/06/2015)