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Last Chance for Life: Clemency in Southeast Asian Death Penalty Cases$
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Daniel Pascoe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809715.001.0001

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Introduction: Six Paradigmatic Cases

Introduction: Six Paradigmatic Cases

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Six Paradigmatic Cases
Source:
Last Chance for Life: Clemency in Southeast Asian Death Penalty Cases
Author(s):

Daniel Pascoe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198809715.003.0001

The function of the Introduction is to set up the puzzle that the book will solve: why Thailand grants clemency to so many death row prisoners (95 per cent or more), why Singapore grants clemency to so few (0.6 per cent), and why Indonesia and Malaysia fall at points somewhere in between. The Introduction briefly describes the origins of this research project, states why it is necessary and important to compare death penalty clemency among these four jurisdictions, and ends with six short vignettes of paradigmatic cases symbolizing Southeast Asian clemency practice since 1991. These are the cases of Tong Chieng Mun in Singapore (an eighteen-year-old female rejected for clemency and executed in 1995); fishermen Leung Chi Fai, Ng Shun Wa, and Leung Kam Chuen in Thailand (each granted royal pardon in 2013); Kenneth Lee Fook Mun and Michael McAuliffe in Malaysia (providing examples of prisoners granted and denied clemency, respectively); and finally Asep Suryaman and Rodrigo Gularte in Indonesia (likewise providing examples of contrasting outcomes). These six vignettes are an important means of introducing the reader to the legal and political issues involved in death penalty clemency, through human interest stories representative of each state’s recent practice.

Keywords:   Southeast Asia, ASEAN, death penalty, clemency, pardon, commutation, human interest, prerogative, comparative case studies

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