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Once a Jolly Hangman

Once a Jolly HangmanAlan Shadrake (2010) Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock, Petaling Jaya: SIRD.

Over the past few decades, investigative journalism has come to mean the kind of brave reporting that exposes injustice, wrongdoing and, above all, the abuse of power. Alan Shadrake’s hard-hitting new book cuts through the façade of official silence to reveal disturbing truths about Singapore’s use of the death penalty. From in-depth interviews with Darshan Singh, Singapore’s chief executioner for nearly fifty years, to meticulously researched accounts of numerous high profile cases, Once A Jolly Hangman reveals the cruelty and imprudence of an entire judicial system. At the same time he displays a touching empathy with the anguish of the victims and their families. This important book should be required reading for human rights activists everywhere.

'Alan Shadrake’s book, Once a Jolly Hangman, is a timely contribution to growing criticism of Singapore’s shameful use of the death penalty' – Margaret John, Amnesty International Canada


Alan Shadrake is a renowned verteran investigative journalist and author of The Yellow Pimpernels and The Life and Tragic Death of Bruce Lee, among others.  


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