Caning reduced to 4 strokes for Fay

May 04, 1994|By Los Angeles Times

SINGAPORE -- The government of Singapore said today there is no reason to grant clemency to an American teen-ager sentenced to a flogging for vandalism but announced the punishment of six strokes of the rattan cane has been reduced to four as a "gesture" to President Clinton.

A government statement said the Cabinet had reviewed the clemency appeal filed by lawyers for Michael Fay, 18, and "found no special circumstances which justify commuting the sentence caning."

Mr. Fay, a resident of Dayton, Ohio, who is living in Singapore with his mother and stepfather, pleaded guilty to two counts of vandalism, two counts of mischief and possessing stolen property in March. He was sentenced to the caning, as well as four months in jail and a $2,230 fine. He is serving his sentence in Singapore's Queenway Remand prison.

Mr. Fay's father, George Fay, said from Ohio that while four strokes of the rattan cane is obviously better than six, he said he doubted it would help mitigate the damage to Singapore's image caused by the caning sentence.

The Singapore statement said the government could not exempt Mr. Fay from the caning "without undermining its ability to enforce future caning ordered by the courts."

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