Under Singapore's laws, the death penalty is used as a punishment for the most serious crimes.
To better understand Singapore residents’ views and perceptions on the death penalty, the Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”) commissioned and conducted the following three studies:
- Survey on Singapore Residents’ Attitudes towards the Death Penalty, conducted by the MHA Research and Statistics Division in 2021 (“RSD 2021”).
- Study on Attitudes towards the Use of Capital Punishment, commissioned by MHA in 2019 and conducted by Dr Carol Soon and Shawn Goh, Institute of Policy Studies (“IPS 2020”); and
- Perception of Residents in Regional Cities on Singapore’s Crime Situation, Law and Safety, commissioned by the MHA Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre and conducted in two phases in 2018 and 2021, respectively (“HTBSC 2021”).
Almost three-quarters 74% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the death penalty should be used for “the most serious crimes”.
Most respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the death penalty deters drug trafficking (83%), firearms offences (86%), and intentional murder (86%).
In Singapore, there is strong agreement that the death penalty is effective in deterring drug trafficking.
There is very high confidence in Singapore's criminal justice system.
89% of respondents believe that death penalty cases are investigated fairly and rigorously, and 88% of respondents were confident that death penalty defendants are given a fair and rigorous trial.
About 85% of respondents believed that adequate safeguards were in place to prevent wrongful executions.