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What does the ACT think about the death penalty?

By Steven Bailey 3 March 2015 70

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Inside my backyard shed are two signs that my fiancée and I recently made. The signs read, “Indonesia, we love you but please tell your Government to stop killing Australian citizens”.

Over the past month or so, I have spoken on various radio stations and contributed to numerous public forums against the state sanctioned killing of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

My spirits have been buoyed by the great diversity of Australians from all political persuasions who have sung with one voice against the Indonesian Government killing Australian citizens.

On the ABC’s Q&A, Alan Jones lashed out at the Australian Federal Police for ostensibly facilitating the proposed murder of the Australian citizens by the Indonesian authorities.

In the Parliament of Australia we have heard impassioned and eloquent pleas for mercy from the Minister, and Shadow Minister, for Foreign Affairs. And Malcolm Turnbull has appealed to Indonesia’s leadership, arguing that granting mercy is a sign of political strength rather than political weakness.

I am proud that the leader of my political party Fiona Patten has championed a powerful civil liberties message opposing the executions. The Australian Sex Party’s #BoycottBali campaign has empowered Australian citizens to act with a collective conscience by choosing to holiday in destinations that respect the most basic civil liberty of all – the right to live.

Yet in light of overwhelming public support for the lives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, I have been confronted by those with opposing views. I always welcome robust debate and I respect those who engage in the contest of ideas. Although, on a personal note, I have been surprised by the vehemence with which some have supported the state sanctioned murder of these two human beings.

As we all know, sometimes heartless minorities are more vocal than humane majorities but now, more so than ever, I am wondering to what extent the Australian public supports or rejects the death penalty.

The sanctity of Indonesia’s sovereignty has been used as an excuse to allow the murders to go ahead without objection. It’s unfortunate that such a lazy philosophical and ethical position could seriously be put forth in the 21st century. A position such as this can only serve to hinder the progressive moral development of humankind. The civil liberties of all humans on earth should be inherently immune to the egoism and constructs of statehood.

Two people have been locked up for ten years and are about to be dragged into the jungle and shot.

Grandparents, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters have agonised for years only to contemplate the seemingly inevitable brutal murder of their loved ones.

To make a human being wait ten years for death instead of freedom is a vicious, cruel, and evil form of punishment.

It is patently clear that killing people and imposing exceedingly punitive measures on human beings who make stupid mistakes out of desperation in their youth does not stop the scourge of unregulated drugs. That states continue the failed war on drugs is a moral blight on our humanity.

That any person would advocate state sanctioned killings 43 years after Whitlam’s Death Penalty Abolition Act is an extreme moral regression that could only be championed by someone whose place in humanity is retarded by a selfish ethical depravity and a misconception of the role a state should play in the lives of human beings.

I fear that if Indonesia goes ahead with killing of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, it will be difficult for an Australian Government to convince the public to give aid to our neighbour. That thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people could suffer because of a diminished will to afford aid in Indonesia’s hours of need would be the greatest tragedy of all.

What’s Your opinion?


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What does the ACT think about the death penalty?
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Masquara 6:17 pm 07 Mar 15

justin heywood said :

I’m not happy to see these two die but geez, how about some perspective?

Where is the candlelight vigil for them?

.

But … but … didn’t you see Michele Obama hold up a sign and make a sad face?

Masquara 6:15 pm 07 Mar 15

What would #boycottbali have done other than damage Balinese people, who want nothing to do with the death penalty? And on the aid question, the Australian Government doesn’t base its aid decisions on public sentiment. Nor should it. On the one hand, you’re advocating for economic damage to the Balinese. On the other hand, you’re in favour of continued aid. You can’t have it both ways – unless of course you’re advocating for a micro-party that will never have to make actual decisions on these issues … in which case, well, yeah, no, yeah, no, yeah.

wildturkeycanoe 8:23 am 07 Mar 15

mr_wowtrousers said :

Well, so many people are flippant about passing judgement and killing people. One mistake? Death. Possibility of rehabilitation? “I don’t think you can be so you are better off being shot.” So very confident that you have the ability to choose life or death for someone else.

It would be interesting to see the reactions if it turned out a family member was facing the same situation.

If one of my family members went around selling candy bars laced with cyanide to make some quick dollars, some percentage or even just one of the kids who bought the candy bars died and there was a clear and irrevocable warning that selling these candy bars would result in a death sentence, I would still have the same view. Sure I’d try to stay the execution, but wonder at how much of a quality of life sitting in a cell for the rest of their life would be. I’d mourn for them after the inevitable bullet to the head, but they knowingly did the wrong thing and regardless who it is, “If you do the crime you do the time”. I can’t be a hypocrite when it comes to the law, especially when I am so appalled at the lack of application in our judicial system. Our own courts reward criminals with television, internet, three meals a day and all the emotional support they need to “get better”, whilst punishing their victims with nothing but injustice and a lifetime of knowing the perpetrator is not suffering and could even be out on the streets menacing them again.
Without strict laws and the guts to use them, criminals will do what they are doing now, creating a society where there is no respect for another person’s life or property and the innocent live in fear.
Prisons are full to overflowing, obviously something isn’t working. Get tougher on crime, especially one that takes liberties from others.

Mysteryman 7:36 am 07 Mar 15

Ghettosmurf87 said :

gazket said :

After Chan & Sukumaran are both Asian so they know the rules, live by the sword die by the sword.

Such charming racial stereotyping…

Could you explain to me what the stereotype was? I must have missed it.

mr_wowtrousers 8:00 pm 06 Mar 15

Well, so many people are flippant about passing judgement and killing people. One mistake? Death. Possibility of rehabilitation? “I don’t think you can be so you are better off being shot.” So very confident that you have the ability to choose life or death for someone else.

It would be interesting to see the reactions if it turned out a family member was facing the same situation.

HiddenDragon 5:49 pm 06 Mar 15

I find it very difficult, in fact impossible, to reconcile Indonesia’s incessant demands that its sovereignty and laws be respected with its policy of extending “maximum protection” (or words to that effect) to Indonesians facing death sentences in other countries. Julie Bishop’s reported comment, in her most recent conversation with her Indonesian counterpart, that Indonesia’s hypocrisy on this matter would not go unnoticed by the international community, is very apt, indeed.

If the campaign against the drug trade in Indonesia really is that serious, it will need to go much further up the feeding chain. In the absence of that, the executions of underlings will be little more than tokenism of the most barbaric kind – and the Roman spectacle we have witnessed with the transfer to the death island is precisely the latter.

justin heywood 1:35 pm 06 Mar 15

I’m not happy to see these two die but geez, how about some perspective?

Thousands of innocent people get death sentences every week from their doctor. ISIS has and continues to kill thousands of innocent people in the most brutal way possible. Where is the candlelight vigil for them?

The cynic in me suggests that all the hoopla is a mix of media beat-up, thinly-veiled racism and cynical grandstanding from politicians seeking some moral capital from the situation.

rosscoact 11:55 am 06 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

The beautiful united candlelight vigil by our political leaders today made me sick to my stomach. Two criminals, convicted of their crimes and facing their punishment, pull at the heartstrings of our leaders. [Hurl] There are literally tens to hundreds of thousands of people who deserve their attention so much more than those two losers. Where are the tears for families who have lost their loved ones to drug overdoses and drug related crimes? In typical Australian democratic style, the criminals get all the sympathy and the victims suffer in silence, never seeing justice. Well, I hope they get that justice this time, it’s just unfortunate that it took another country’s laws to do it properly.
To answer the question, for the right crime I’d certainly support introducing the death penalty in the A.C.T. Some scumbags, especially repeat offenders, those who blame their childhood for their inability to comply with the law, any pervert who rapes or takes another persons life, in my opinion should have the hangman’s noose as their final sentence. Of course, guilt beyond any doubt would be a stipulation, but not where lawyers drag it out on “technicalities” and such.
An eye for an eye is fair in my mind. It’d be interesting to see if the crime rate dropped suddenly after it was introduced.

Thank you for saying what had to be said.

Thank goodness such abhorrent and disgusting sentiments are not supported by Australian society.

smithy 11:29 am 06 Mar 15

if only we could get the media and politicians to direct their passion on issues that effect the Australians who work for a living, pay taxes and contribute to our society.

Being a drug user or importer or dealer is a choice why are these being place above others who are doing the right thing.

Ghettosmurf87 10:37 am 06 Mar 15

gazket said :

After Chan & Sukumaran are both Asian so they know the rules, live by the sword die by the sword.

Such charming racial stereotyping…

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