Singapore Executes Intellectually Disabled Man

    Image copyright: AFP/Getty Images [via CNN]

    The Facts

    • On Wed., a Malaysian man with intellectual disabilities who was convicted of smuggling drugs was executed in Singapore.

    • His lawyer filed multiple appeals to overturn his execution, with a final appeal rejected by a Singapore court last month.


    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The execution of this vulnerable man is a tragic miscarriage of justice. From rushed hearings to intimidation of Dharmalingam's lawyers, this case has exposed Singaporean's vacant claims of due process. Dharmalingam's disability made him incapable of understanding his actions, and his sentence was disproportionate to the offense.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Singapore doesn't take joy in the death penalty, but Singaporeans understand the need for it. The nation's anti-drug strategy has proven to work, as the country has one of the lowest rates of drug abuse in the world. While many express sympathy for drug traffickers who face the death penalty, it's important to remember the immense harm drugs cause abusers and their families.


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