Yes your honor…
After a furore that even had the Minsister of Law chiming in for a harsher penalty, the Judge at the centre of the storm has explained why he had been lenient with a teen offender who had selectively targeted foreign workers for brutal assaults.
While reformative training aims to be rehabilitative, the courts have recognised that it is incarcerative in nature, said District Judge Lim Keng Yeow, in his grounds of decision for rejecting prosecutors’ call for the penalty to be imposed on a teenager who had beaten up foreign workers to practise his martial-arts skills.
The judge had sentenced Daryl Lim Jun Liang to 10 days of detention and other conditions, ruling that reformative training for the 18-year-old would amount to a “sledgehammer approach”, given the offender’s high capacity for community rehabilitation. Even adults who commit the exact same offence of voluntarily causing hurt would not have been sentenced to a substantial prison term lasting several months, he added.
“Given the nature and duration of reformative training as it now stands, it should be imposed cautiously, perhaps with as much care as when a physician prescribes very strong medication carrying notable potential side effects,” he wrote. “The courts have absolutely no reason to flinch from imposing reformative training, where it is appropriate. But care ought to be taken not to impose it gratuitously.
Okay we got it. Reformative Training is bad for criminals because they might get punished for their crimes!