(email@example.com) JOHOR BARU: The High Court here sentenced three men to the gallows and two others were detained at the pleasure of the Ruler for kidnapping a schoolgirl three years ago. P. Steven, 26, P. Vicknes, 29, and R. Ravikumar, 22, were handed the death sentence for abducting a 13-year-old girl with the intention of getting a ransom of RM500,000 in Tampoi at around 11.20am on April 28, 2008. However, Judge Kamardin Hashim ordered that two others, both 19, be detained at the pleasure of the Johor Sultan under Section 97(2)(b) of the Child Act 2001 because they were underage when the offence was committed. To the gallows: The accused being escorted out of the Johor Baru High Court after the sentence was delivered. According to the facts of the case, the victim was abducted while she was on her way to school.
The victim’s dad subsequently paid RM80,000 to the accused at a petrol station in Sungai Besi. S. Vijayaretanam represented Vicknes while Mohd Haijan Omar represented the other four. Both lawyers appealed for a lighter sentence. Mohd Haijan said the accused had not harmed the victim. “The victim was not injured and they provided her with food and clothes,” he said. Vijayaretanam said the victim was not sexually harassed. However Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad said the offence was serious. They were charged under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, which carries the death sentence or life imprisonment, as well as whipping. Earlier, nine accused were charged with abducting the girl but four were acquitted in April after the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against them. All the accused were silent while the verdict was read out while some of their family members were seen weeping. The girl’s father M. Paramasivam, 48, who was present in court, said that he was satisfied with the judgment. “I accompany my daughter whenever she goes out as she is still afraid to step out of the house alone,” the businessman said. He added that he had also moved out of his old home as he was afraid for the safety of his family.
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The judge should punish according to the final ending of the situation. In this case the victimised family had a shock they would recover from in a few years at most. All were unharmed. But collectively these 3 people have up to 200 years of life taken away from them in a somewhat violent manner (hanging means that the neck is broken in a manner that kills via a noose). Is that a fair judgment, do the offenders learn anything?
To be lenient and even politically correct, the offenders could be required at very least to pay for any emotional or psychological stress quantifiable by some psyche personnel within the policeforce (this should not be more than the entire value of the offender even if calculated by qualified panels of experts – we can’t have people demanding 100s of millions nor can people without the money pay damages that are impossible to foot , but we can ensure that the victims are protected from further abuse and compensated for any losses from the incident from any and all parties involved), offenders be put on probation having to report to a probation officer for a few months with a lifetime restraining order, preventing them from approaching the victims without permission from the court. At worst exile the offenders after a public apology at a public venue at Tampoi witnessed by any person’s interested in this case, probably media and judges, some relatives and busybodies.
Then extract some sort of compensation to the family, not more than will affect a reasonable living standard for the offender, as long as the victims require or as audited by some expert panel. Instead of imprisoning at taxpayer expense and making the offenders lose their lives quite meaninglessly with a fairly violent method, they could be made to pay out of their pockets (to some people loss of cash does not hurt them so for these people a tit for tat event could be more appropriate) or have the same done to them.
The offenders were greedy but not violent, nor did they imprison the victims so they should not be imprisoned in turn at cost to the taxpayer. This is a bad judgment IMHO as it is not equitable or commensurate with the suffering of the victims. Only the prison contractors benefit here. And conditions in jail are not necessarily appropriate unless we have fake ‘prisoners’ put into jail to mete out specifically tailored punishments – in which case the taxpayer loses again. Don’t hang, rehabilitate and let them live out the course of their lives, their mulling of the issue will be beneficial compared to a violent hanging and meaningless death.