It is perhaps unsurprising to my readers that I am horrified and disgusted by the legal murder of Van Nguyen in Singapore this morning. Almost 20 years after the execution of Barlow and Chambers in Malaysia, the death of Van Nguyen is perhaps even more repulsive to the Australian public. It is, after all, 38 years since Australia has rejected capital punishment for crimes committed. The last man to hang in Australia, Ronald Ryan, was possibly innocent of the murder of a prison warden, and this is perhaps partly why as a people we are horrified by our own history, in legally killing prisoners. And hanging, from every description of capital pubishment is a gruesome way to die. It’s likely that Nguyen will be alive for at least 8 minutes after he hangs.
Gandhi said, ‘an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind’. Singapore is blind to the injustice of Nguyen’s death. It’s our place now to do what we can to open the world’s eyes to the horror and inhumanity of capital punishment. I beg you to do what you can now to ensure Nguyen’s death is not in vain; let us collectively strive to eradicate the scourge of capital punishment.