Murder In Singapore And Mexico Criminology Essay

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Murder is a crime which involves taking someone's life, which poses a great threat to civilians. In all countries, murder was viewed as an extremely serious case by the law, for different reasons. This report aims to explore how law tackles this violent crime and determine the effectiveness of the law enforcement in dealing with cases of murder, notably Singapore and Mexico.

Definition of Murder

Murder is the intentional act of seizing another person's life unlawfully, results in tremendous grief of people close to the victim. Permanently depriving someone of their existence is viewed by the law as the most serious crime, and the murderer should be given the harshest penalty possible. [1] Those countries who support death penalty would usually give the murderer death penalty and those who opposed would give a life sentence.

Reasons for people committing murder

There are many reasons why people commit murder. It mainly includes:


If the criminal suffers from mental disorder, he would not be liable to any form of punishment. He may suffer from serious mental illness, or his mental condition showed that he could not tell what is right and what is wrong, and so he would kill without analyzing the consequences. [2] One such example is the case when Daniel Sickles took 2 handguns and shot Philip Barton Key for sleeping with his wife in front of the President White House. He was found to be insane at the time of murder, and was therefore acquitted of murder. [3] 


Self defense is a term used for someone killing someone for the sake of defending his or her own life. If someone unintentionally kills another because of self-defense, he would not be liable to any form of punishment if he or she defends accurately.


If a criminal is suffering from depression, in certain countries such as Canada and Italy, he or she would not be convicted of murder. This mainly applies to a woman, who kills her baby. In that case, she would be convicted of not murder but infanticide.


Revenge is a term used for people who wants vengeance from others for doing something terrible to them, by killing them.

Fun and pleasure

Some murderers kill for fun and pleasure, either without realizing the consequences or thinking that he or she could get away with it. One such example is a serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed 17 victims in 23 years. He carried them out for fun and pleasure, and got away with all of it (though he was arrested in attempting to murder his 18th victim, Tracy Edwards).

How do different countries apply the law of murder?

Different countries apply murder in different ways. In this case, I will be comparing two different countries, Singapore and Mexico. Singapore has one of the lowest murder rates in the world, because of its strict law enforcements of life imprisonment and death penalty. Mexico, on the other hand, has one of the highest murder rates in the world, because of it lax law enforcements, and combined with the fact that Mexico has a group ill-coordinated police force; this allowed the criminals in Mexico to escape arrest.

Why was the police force in Mexico corrupted? Each police officer received low salary (Estimated US $400 per month), which meant that the police would take their job less seriously. They would be more likely to accept bribes from criminals, and as a result the criminals would be protected from any possible arrest. Law enforcement, instead of sentencing to death or imprisonment, was presented with the "accept bribe or die" policy.

And believe it or not, according to Wikipedia, one out of every ten crimes was reported in Mexico, and one out of every hundred goes to sentencing. This means that 1 out of every 1000 criminals were sentenced due to the lack of trust of the police force and the government. The citizens had lost their faith in them. All of this justifies why Mexico has a full share of concerns regarding crime, and at the top of the list is the issue of murder.

How effective has law enforcement been in reducing the rate of murder Singapore and Mexico?

In Singapore, since the penalties of murder were extremely harsh, the murder rates dropped year by year. In 2007, the crime rate was so low that it was the third lowest in the world.

In Mexico, it was almost the direct opposite of Mexico. Tourism suffered, and their plight came to the attention of the United States. There were protests against the government for being a failure in tackling crime.

As a result, the Mexican government decided to send the criminals to United States to face trial. This is also known as Extradition, when a criminal is deported to another country to stand trial.

Figure 1:The Statistics of Singapore's crime rate per 100 000 population


As we can see from Figure 1, Singapore's crime rate is very low compared to the others.

As for Mexico, from the statistics she is the top 6 countries that have the highest murder rates in the world, as shown below.

Figure 2: Murder Rates in Mexico, most recent recording


As we can see from Figure 2, due to the lack of a proper police force and the high number of "unreported crimes", the crime rates had skyrocketed. It was so serious that it came to the attention to the USA, and now has been co-operating with Mexico to tackle this all-serious issue, as mentioned above. Below, the figure shows Mexico's murder rates from 2005-2009.

Figure 3: Murder Rates in Mexico, from 2005-2009


As we can see from the diagram, the murder rates had never decreased due to unreported crimes, and the statistics are shown below.

Figure 4: Unreported crime Percentage in 2009, with the comparison with other countries.


Possible Scenarios

What's the future like if every country introduces the death penalty as a means to curb crimes of murder?

Murder rates would decrease significantly as it served as a warning that people should think twice before they murder, at the terribly huge expense of their own lives. The world would be at peace then, with no threats against their lives.

However, as an antagonist of death penalty, I personally do not think that it is right, despite the pros given, as everyone should be given a second chance in her life.

If Mexico was to suddenly introduce a death penalty as a desperate measure to decrease the murder rates in Mexico, what would the future be like for Mexico?

It would be very obvious that the crime rates would decrease and Mexico's reputation as a good tourist attraction would improve. However, suddenly introducing death penalty as a measure to decrease the murder rates is considered a desperate one. Life imprisonment is considered better, in my opinion.

Personal Perspective

After studying the two countries' methods of tackling murder, I believe that Singapore is too harsh and Mexico is too lenient. One would end up on the rope if found guilty of murder in Singapore, in most cases, for whatsoever reasons. On the other hand, one would have a 1/10% chance of getting caught if committing a crime in Mexico, which would prompt him or her to raise the stakes by escalating their actions.

National Perspective

From a Singapore government's point of view, they would obviously think that murderer should be treated the way they treated their victims. However, they did not consider how precious one's life could be, no matter how dangerous a person should be. Though Singapore preserved a good reputation and a good tourist attraction, the Singapore government should exercise their dictatorship towards Singapore.

The Mexican government was obviously desperate for counter-measures against crime. Mexico now suffered from bad reputation for being unable to tackle crime,

Global Perspective



Singapore and Mexico tackled murder in two very different ways, having the exact opposite effects on the country's reputation as a good tourist attraction, as well as on how the governments in both countries are able to tackle the problem. While the Singapore government needs to realize the importance of human life regardless whether the person is dangerous or not, the Mexican government needs to exercise their law enforcement in their country. This is because being very lenient in terms of law enforcement is severely detrimental to a country.