Singapore residents show ‘very strong support’ for use of death penalty on most serious crimes: MHA study
Three studies were conducted or commissioned by MHA on the use of death penalty in Singapore.
“Very strong support” shown by Singapore residents for the use of capital punishment for serious crimes, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) concluded after carrying out three surveys.
The study on attitudes towards the use of capital punishment, commissioned by MHA and conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in 2020, found out that 74 per cent out of the 2,000 respondents who were surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that “the death penalty is justified for the most serious of crimes”.
Similarly, a survey conducted by the MHA Research and Statistics Division (RSD) in 2021 also showed that more than half (73.7 per cent) of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the death penalty should be put in place for serious crimes.
About 2,000 residents comprising citizens and permanent residents (PR) took part in the RSD survey.
Intentional murder, use of firearms and trafficking substantial amount of drugs were all considered to be a part of the “most serious crimes” category.
Majority of the respondents agreed to the use of death penalty for serious crimes, as they believe that capital punishment would be helpful in deterring people from committing them.
A large percentage from the RSD survey (83.2 per cent), agreed or strongly agreed that the death penalty will deter the trafficking substantial amounts of drugs, firearm offences (85.9 per cent), and intentional murder (85.9 per cent).
Majority of the respondents from the IPS survey are also in strong agreement that the death penalty would be effective in deterring serious crimes.
Around 78.2 per cent believed that capital punishment would be an effective deterrant for serious crimes in general. More than half of the respondents (78.9 per cent) believed that the death penalty would deter potential drug traffickers from trafficking significant amounts of drugs into Singapore.
Results also show that about 70.8 per cent believed that it can be more effective than life imprisonment.
The survey results for the RSD survey is no different in relation to drug trafficking.
Around 73.7 per cent of respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that the capital punishment will be more effective than life imprisonment in deterring drug traffickers from trafficking large amounts of drugs in Singapore.
Respondents were also asked about how much they trust the Singapore criminal justice system.
The results found that Singapore citizens and PRs have a “very high level of confidence” in Singapore’s criminal justice system.
Majority of respondents (88.5 per cent) had confidence that those who are subjected to the death penalty have gone through fair and rigorous investigations.
Nearly 90 per cent of respondents also believe that those who are subjected to the death penalty in Singapore undergo fair and rigorous trials.
A vast majority, around 85.3 per cent, also believe that there are adequate measures put in place to ensure that there are no wrongful executions.
“The studies show that there is very strong support among Singapore residents on Singapore’s use of the death penalty for the most serious crimes, such as intentional murder, use of firearms, and trafficking in substantial amounts of drugs,” said MHA.