The Death Penalty and the Bali Nine

I know a lot of folk will not agree with me - but I do have strong views about the issue and what these young folk did a few years ago.

"If you do the crime, you do the time" comes to mind as I write this.  These young folk knew they were breaking the law when they chose to become involved with the smuggling of drugs - and anyone who is going to break the law, whatever law, especially one where they KNEW that they would be risking punishment of some sort, should not carry on when the punishment, according to the law of the country in which they broke the law, is about to be meted out to them.

I do have some discomfort supporting capital punishment, as I know that some people have had their lives snuffed out and years later it was found that they were innocent, however, I feel that for many people that are kept in prison for years as a result of their crime enduring a challenging quality of life and costing the communities a lot of money, they would perhaps prefer to have their life taken from them.   Some of these folk are really nasty people - and we send good people to be their prison officers, who are often badly affected by the experience.

There is no easy solution I know - but the laws of Indonesia were broken by young people who may well have been naive, but they knew that they were breaking the law and should face the consequences.  I know that the two guys who are the focus of the pending death penalty, may well have reformed, but the fact is, they broke a law and should face the punishment according to the law of that country.  It's a tough stance I know.

There has been a lot of pressure on the President, government and courts of Indonesia to spare the lives of the two folk - and all laws have been challenged in order to save them - without success.

Other countries have high numbers of executions too - China being one of them, which I know. There is interesting reading at Wikipedia.

I am always concerned about the prison staff - as I know that working in a hostile and negative environment must be very testing for them.  I know some of the negatives affect them.

Way back in the 1970's I was a registered nurse in an acute psychiatric hospital, and was surrounded by foul mouthed sick people.  I recall my family commenting that expletives were infiltrating my conversations.  I tried to stop this, but the people I spent most of my waking time with - the other staff and the patients - also used frequent expletives in every day conversation.  I felt eventually that I was spending much of my life in a rather different community than that I had wanted to be part of.

Do the crime - do the time - or face up to the laws of the country in which you committed the crime. I do think that in the 21st Century, there is a lot of technoogy that can prove beyond doubt of the crime committed.

I have sympathy for the families of the men, but not much for the criminals.  Hard line, I know.


Vicky E said…
This is exactly the way I feel about this situation. I haven't visited yet but have heard that there are signs up at the airport in Bali that say that the death penalty will be used for drug smugglers/dealers and yet they entered a country knowing this and tried to do the exact same thing.
I don't agree with capital punishment in any way shape or form especially as there is always a risk that the wrong person was punished BUT they knew what they were doing.
Ultimately how many peoples lives have they destroyed in an attempt to make a quick buck? They can't rely on their nationality to escape their punishment I believe. I came to Australia from the UK and I obey the Australian laws, I wouldn't expect my home country to rescue me or to escape the law because of my nationality.
Di Hill said…
Thank you for your comment Vicky - it is a hard one. I agree with you re the last paragraph especially.

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