Shanmugam "Sam" Murugesu (Tamil: சண்முகம் முருகேசு) (c.1967 – 13 May 2005) was a Tamil Singaporean executed for smuggling 1.03 kg of cannabis into Singapore from Malaysia. Such offenses carry a mandatory death sentence under Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act.
Prior to his death, Murugesu's case was publicized by campaigners against capital punishment in Singapore, which has the highest per capita rates of legalized execution in the world. His mother campaigned for his sentence to be reduced, defending her son by stating he spent eight years in the Singapore Army and otherwise had no criminal record. She stated "Give him 5, 10 or 20 years, do not take his life."
Shanmugam had served in other government sectors like the Singapore Sports Council for 4 years. He had also represented Singapore in water sports events like the 1995 World Championship Jetski Finals in Lake Havasu, Arizona, USA. Before his arrest, Shanmugam worked as a taxidriver and a freelance window cleaner to support his sons and mother. He contributed income to his sister and her 3 children. He did not have any previous convictions except for a minor traffic offence. Murugesu is survived by his wife and two sons.
- Petition of Shanmugam s/o Murugesu
- Singapore finally finds a voice in death row protest from The Observer newspaper.
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