PUTRAJAYA: A total of 1,020 prisoners who have been sentenced to mandatory death and life imprisonment can now file an application in court to review their respective sentences.
Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said this comes as the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023 (Act 847) comes into force tomorrow.
This follows the enforcement of the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 (Act 846) on July 4.
Azalina said that the Cabinet had on Aug 30 agreed to a mechanism for court proceedings to revise mandatory death and life imprisonment sentences, as proposed after an engagement with stakeholders.
They include the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), Federal Court chief registrar’s office, prisons department, National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK), Malaysian Bar Council, the Sabah Law Society, the Advocates Association of Sarawak, and the Prime Minister’s Department’s legal affairs division.
“Priorities in the implementation of this mechanism include factors such as the prisoner’s age, level of health, and the period of imprisonment, as well as other considerations,” she said.
According to Azalina, prisoners on death row who are unable to appoint a lawyer to represent them in the sentence review process can now seek legal services through court-assigned lawyers.
Prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment can get legal services from YBGK, she said.
“These two legal aid services offered reflect the government’s priority and stance in ensuring justice is given to all Malaysians,” she said.