Death Penalty Watch – Tan Chor Jin

11 Jan

Tan Chor Jin was executed in Singapore on Friday, 9th January after failing to gain a pardon from the President last August.

According to an AFP report in 2007, ‘Singapore to hang ‘One Eyed Dragon’ for nightclub murder’, the man appeared calm and collected after his verdict was passed. Convicted for the murder of another man, Lin Hock Soon, Tan, who was nicknamed for having only vision in one eye, had entered the victim’s flat before burgling and shooting him.

The same news reported that Tan was without representation at the trial. Given that the death penalty is a heavy and irreversible sentence, passing out such a verdict without recourse to a lawyer seriously undermines the rights of the accused.

When interviewed by AFP, Tan was quoted, “They don’t understand what are human rights in the prison, nor allow us to smoke”.

In an even more bizzare twist of events, Tan’s kidney was reported by the Straits Times to have been donated to retail magnate, Tang Wee Sung, who was suffering from kidney failure. He owns the Tangs Department store in the city’s shopping district along Orchard Road.

Given Singaporean authorities’ secrecy towards the death penalty, it is highly likely that Tan is the first to be executed this year.

More importantly, a police investigation should also be conducted based on the Straits Times kidney transplant story to determine if foul play or other illicit dealings may have occurred.

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