Monday, 16 August 2010

Charging baby dumpers with murder is harsh, let common sense prevail

This is a bit harsh coming from Sharizat about charging baby dumpers with murder or attempted murder:

Baby dumping may be classified as attempted murder or murder

By Rozanna Latiff and Daniel Bariga

KUALA LUMPUR: The cabinet has asked the police to probe into baby dumping as attempted murder or murder cases, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil said yesterday.
She said the cabinet agreed that the government should take sterner action to stop baby dumping.

“The government has no choice because of the rising number of cases. Despite the various initiatives, baby dumping is still happening.”

The women, family and community development minister said not only the women involved in baby dumping would be brought to justice, the men, too, would be prosecuted.
“We have taken a welfare approach all this while but the problem continues.

“The government cannot allow this state of affairs to continue and that is why the classification will be changed to attempted murder or murder.”

Under the move, Shahrizat said police, acting on the ministry’s request, would start classifying investigations as attempted murder, or if found with intent, murder.

Police have recorded 60 baby-dumping cases so far this year, compared with 79 for the whole of last year.

Tougher measures, she said, were required as baby dumping could no longer be tolerated.

“Dumping a baby only to see the child found dead in places such as dustbins and toilets is an inhumane act. It is tantamount to murdering an innocent person.”

Shahrizat said she put forward the request to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein during the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Police are now investigating baby-dumping cases under the Child Act 2001, and those found guilty, face imprisonment of up to 10 years.

read the rest

While Shahrizat's intention is noble I think the issue should be studied in depth, I think its right that death sentences are for murder with intent , drug traffickers and those who wage war on the DYMM Agung, jangan marahkan nyamuk kita bakar kelambu. Having said that, we are blessed that we have an Attorney General who knows his onions:

Not all is murder, says Gani

By Kalbana Perimbanayagam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General's Chambers is prepared to prosecute anyone who abandons their baby, causing it to die, for murder.
However, a detailed study on the heavier penalty is required in drawing the line between murder and other possible charges.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail told the New Straits Times not all cases involving baby dumping could be classified as murder under section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries a death penalty.

"If a baby is simply dumped or abandoned, but safe, then the parent cannot be prosecuted for murder. In such cases, the parent may be booked under other sections of the Penal Code, depending on the circumstances."

The cabinet, concerned with the number of baby-dumping cases in the country, had recently asked the police to investigate such cases for murder or attempted murder.

This was in the hope that such a move would serve as a deterrent.

Prior to the cabinet's decision, cases of baby dumping which led to death were mostly investigated under sections 317 (abandonment), 318 (concealment of birth by secret disposal of body), 309 (infanticide) of the Penal Code or section 31 of the Child Act (abandonment).

Gani said baby-dumping cases which resulted in death also had to satisfy the ingredients and provisions stated under section 300 of the Penal Code, to be tried for murder.

The section states that a person can be prosecuted for murder under the following circumstances:

- If the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death;

- If it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused;

- If it is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person, and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death; or,

- If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death, or such injury.

"The judiciary will also consider the likelihood and all possibilities, which could or could not result in the baby's death, in prosecuting the parent," said Gani.

Asked whether the A-G's Chambers had received any such proposal, Gani said he had yet to receive it.

However, he said the proposal required a detailed study to avoid confusion in delivering justice.

For all the evils of baby dumping, The AG's counsel should be sought by the Cabinet Ministers before announcing such harsh punishments reserved for real murderers and drug traffickers.

Please read an interesting post by syedoutsidethebox:
Sharizat says: Kill Them

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