19 April 2016

What does the ACT think about the death penalty?

| Steven Bailey
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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.

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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?

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.

wildturkeycanoe8:23 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.

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_wowtrousers8:00 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.

HiddenDragon5:49 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 heywood1:35 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.

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.

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.

Ghettosmurf8710:37 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…

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.

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

Being made to wait 10 years before the sentence is carried out is, I think, unkind. The grace period should be ‘a year and a day’ – no more, no less. Everyone knows where they stand, it gives everyone time to do what needs to be done and it has a nice ring to it.

Those two dills in Indonesia should be shot. I can’t go to the funeral – I have to get my hair done.

Hmmm so, too, should Milat, Bryant and quite a few others. Yes, they should be shot too – although in the case of Milat and Bryant we should then wait a month, dig ’em up and shoot ’em again. I can’t go to the funeral – I’ve got rellies coming to stay.

And what rubbish people talk about the death penalty! No-one pretends it’s going to stop stupid people from doing stupid things – they’ll do stupid things regardless of the penalty.

What the death penalty ensures is that that person won’t do those things again – and that’s a good result.

But more particularly, it also says ‘Hey! our society places a very high value on the victim of your crime. We can’t undo what you’ve done but because of it, you will forfeit your place amongst us. THAT’s how much we value your victim.’ And everyone else can reflect and feel somewhat safer.

I think the people who would get most upset about Australia reintroducing the death penalty would be those employed in our now enormous ‘looking-after-the-bad-guy’ industry. The pollies will never put it to a referendum because they already know which way the vote would go.

And before you put fingers to keyboard, ask yourself: ‘Where am I most likely to send some money? the family of the victim, the family of the criminal, or neither.

Shoot ’em. I wouldn’t go to the funeral. And neither would you.

Sourskittles11:15 pm 05 Mar 15

Right. Because they are Indonesia’s laws, deal with it. That’s basically the vibe you guys are putting out. I have a problem with this view. It’s pretty much privileged cr*p. So if there were rules in say, Saudi Arabia, where if a woman removes her headscarf she could be taken to jail, that’s fine? That’s just the law? I have an issue with people who live in a free country and clearly do not believe it is possible for everybody else to do so, too. Just because they’re laws, doesn’t mean it’s ok. Permanently ending somebody’s life is really hypocritical if you’re going to lock up vigilantes for doing the same thing. Just because you were hired by the government to shoot somebody doesn’t suddenly make you the archangel Gabriel and you are completely absolved of the fact that you just murdered somebody. For money.
You all seem to believe drug smuggling ruins lives and murders people and whatever but it seems to have slipped your minds that people taking and buying drugs do actually have minds of their own, however addled by addiction they may be, yet you’re judging somebody who is probably a user themselves with a completely different outlook because they were importing. Well, maybe you should put that angst towards sex traffickers who rightly deserve it; they actually directly enslave people who don’t have a choice in how their life is lived. And this goes on in our country.

Quit pointing your grubby KFC fingers at two young guys who f-ed up royally and stop pretending you never had a joint in your life. Alcohol is one of the biggest and most harmful drugs and we advertise it on giant billboards and during sports games with kids present. Get over it. Heroin users might need help but they still do have a choice. Anybody who risks their lives for smuggling for money probably didn’t have much of a life worth risking. Have some damn compassion.

wildturkeycanoe10:09 pm 05 Mar 15

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.

dungfungus said :

Madam Cholet said :

There seems to be a lot of discussion about what is thought of the death penalty in relation to these two convicted drug smugglers. The question posed at the top of the post was about what teh ACT thinks about the death penalty. It’s a given that countries have their own laws, but the bigger question in this day and age is whether it is appropriate or not for this crime or at all.

You can point out that ‘they did the crime’ till you are blue in the face. It doesn’t mean that it should continue to be accepted and that anyone, including senior members of any political party should not put persue what they feel to be right.

I do wonder about people who are welded on Liberals sometimes. More Liberal than the Liberals – like old colonials.

Most “old colonials” in Australia were sent here as punishment for their crimes.

so? your point?? or are you simply pointing to the weld join?

Madam Cholet7:10 pm 05 Mar 15

Mr Dungfungus, I was really meaning old colonials in the Africa/India sense rather than the Australian sense. The people that time forgot. So entrenched that they created little England in far flung climbs and didn’t realise the world had moved on. Welded on Liberals are like that…time has just left them behind.

Mr Gillespie4:13 pm 05 Mar 15

Smuggle drugs into a country that sentences drug smugglers to death, pay the consequences. I fail to see why our government should have to waste resources trying to rescue people stupid enough to peddle filth overseas.

People are always screaming about how pedophiles should face the hangman while governments continue to ignore these pleas, both sides oppose the death penalty but WHAT ABOUT THEIR ELECTORS??? WELL??

I care more about getting the media to stop putting this story at the top of their agenda than I do about the topic.

Don’t care. Stop shoot them don’t shoot them, I don’t care. But please stop using “Australia” as a collective term. I am yet to talk to anyone who cars about the result.

Madam Cholet said :

There seems to be a lot of discussion about what is thought of the death penalty in relation to these two convicted drug smugglers. The question posed at the top of the post was about what teh ACT thinks about the death penalty. It’s a given that countries have their own laws, but the bigger question in this day and age is whether it is appropriate or not for this crime or at all.

You can point out that ‘they did the crime’ till you are blue in the face. It doesn’t mean that it should continue to be accepted and that anyone, including senior members of any political party should not put persue what they feel to be right.

I do wonder about people who are welded on Liberals sometimes. More Liberal than the Liberals – like old colonials.

Most “old colonials” in Australia were sent here as punishment for their crimes.

I think one of the biggest obstacles to pardoning them would be that it would make Indonesia seem like Australia’s puppet. What Australia says Indonesia does. They do not want that image.

Personally I do not believe they should die. I think that they should deport citizens accused of crimes where their laws are harsher than the country of origin. The reality is that they will be executed.
The thing that bothers me the most is the waiting and the constant public commentary and repeated delays in transporting them from one place to the other. I just hope they do not have to suffer.

I won’t be going to Bali. I never intended to anyway but this cements it.

creative_canberran3:40 pm 05 Mar 15

John Hargreaves said :

No human being has the right to take the life of another. The emotive arguments about an eye for an eye don’t wash with me.

You respond to the simplistic emotive arguments by using a simplistic emotive argument.
Human beings do have the right to take another’s life, police are authorised to use deadly force to protect life, soldiers have an immunity. It always a calculation of whether the taking of the life is necessary and outweighs the measures to preserve it.

The only issue is whether their death will serve the interests of Indonesia better than their life? The answer is no. The death penalty does not disease drug traffickers, indeed it is an ineffective deterrent for any crime. Let them live, serving out their lives in jail and their rehabilitation on the other hand serves as a beacon, an asset to the Indonesia justice system and inspiration for other prisoners.

But this isn’t about a rational argument of pros and cons and justice theory for Indonesia, it’s about politics. So Joko will do whatever makes him feel big, even when it not only doesn’t serve his country, but is bad for it.

TwainAndHume3:05 pm 05 Mar 15

The death penalty is an ineffective “perfect” punishment (as Bryan Stevenson described it last week) …. it solves nothing and makes a society that resorts to it less …..

Madam Cholet said :

There seems to be a lot of discussion about what is thought of the death penalty in relation to these two convicted drug smugglers. The question posed at the top of the post was about what teh ACT thinks about the death penalty. It’s a given that countries have their own laws, but the bigger question in this day and age is whether it is appropriate or not for this crime or at all.

…yeah, and ACT responded – with about 40ish replies. I think you are reluctant to hear the response which seems to contradict your own opinion, that makes you think the question was not answered.

To give you a helping hand: the overall vibe of ACTs collective thought, if this post is anything to go by, can be summarised with “death penalty, as a concept, could be applied but should be very limited”, typical limits include such crimes as paedophilia, rape and mass-murder. There could even be an acceptance to apply capital punishment for severe drug-related crimes, but only when taken in a broader context of asserting associated criminal activities such as murder and rape which are likely attributed to drug lords.

Madam Cholet said :

You can point out that ‘they did the crime’ till you are blue in the face. It doesn’t mean that it should continue to be accepted and that anyone, including senior members of any political party should not put persue what they feel to be right.

Again, reading through the replies, I get a distinct impression than yours. My understanding of the collective thoughts of those who accept is that the acceptance isn’t because “they did the crime”, rather it’s because “theirs [the drug dealers] isn’t a worthy enough cause to enforce our punishment standard on a foreign country”. BTW, that also happens to be my own opinion: there are many more worthy causes in the world and at home we should concern ourself than this.

Madam Cholet said :

I do wonder about people who are welded on Liberals sometimes. More Liberal than the Liberals – like old colonials.

Misc. drivel ignored.

Madam Cholet1:54 pm 05 Mar 15

There seems to be a lot of discussion about what is thought of the death penalty in relation to these two convicted drug smugglers. The question posed at the top of the post was about what teh ACT thinks about the death penalty. It’s a given that countries have their own laws, but the bigger question in this day and age is whether it is appropriate or not for this crime or at all.

You can point out that ‘they did the crime’ till you are blue in the face. It doesn’t mean that it should continue to be accepted and that anyone, including senior members of any political party should not put persue what they feel to be right.

I do wonder about people who are welded on Liberals sometimes. More Liberal than the Liberals – like old colonials.

Rollersk8r said :

Firstly I don’t think it matters what we think – it’s not going to change the outcome of this case.

Secondly, since you asked, I absolutely believe in the death penalty for cowards like the Bali and Boston bombers. I’ve read elsewhere that your personal stance on the death penalty must black and white, yes or no, regardless of the crime. I disagree!! I believe in the death penalty for some crimes and not others.

And finally, so much media attention has focussed on these two being such nice guys. I understand the emotive side of it – but I can’t recall any other case where major criminals have been portrayed as just nice, young, promising men who made a mistake. What if they weren’t caught? Where would they be now?

“….so much media attention…”
That’s the operative phrase.
Very disappointed to see senior coalition members get so emotionally involved in this latest media beat up.
I supposed they will be damned if they don”t but at the same time they can be seen by some to be giving tacit support to drug dealers.
Why the media has decided that the plight of a couple of drug criminals should command so much public interest is beyond me.
Why doesn’t the media give us a story about the plight of millions of European home owners who have been caught by the low interest Swiss Franc loan scam?
This threatens to start GFC2.

Firstly I don’t think it matters what we think – it’s not going to change the outcome of this case.

Secondly, since you asked, I absolutely believe in the death penalty for cowards like the Bali and Boston bombers. I’ve read elsewhere that your personal stance on the death penalty must black and white, yes or no, regardless of the crime. I disagree!! I believe in the death penalty for some crimes and not others.

And finally, so much media attention has focussed on these two being such nice guys. I understand the emotive side of it – but I can’t recall any other case where major criminals have been portrayed as just nice, young, promising men who made a mistake. What if they weren’t caught? Where would they be now?

John Hargreaves said :

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves said :

No human being has the right to take the life of another. The emotive arguments about an eye for an eye don’t wash with me. There are many heinous crimes for which the harshest punishment is warranted but death is not one of them.

I feel for the relatives of those about to die, the members of the firing squad and the two themselves. I grieve for them as I do for the victims of their heinous crimes.

The difference between a civilised word and that of a barbaric one is that we can think more clearly now and understand a bit more clearly of the responsibility we carry for “lives”.

One this particular one too, where is the mercy that only humans can express? Where is the acknowledgment by these two that they have done horrible things and have tried so hard to make amends?

And also, what part of role models to be exploited to stop others from this trade is a bad idea?

It’s hard to believe you were once a soldier, John.
When I was being trained in the army it was “kill or be killed”.

Yeah, me too. but then I was 20 years old and had a different view on life then.

So now the ethos is “live and let live”?
Unfortunately, the Western world isn’t going to survive if we subscribe to this.

TFarquahar said :

Weatherman said :

The Department of Foreign Affairs is constantly warning people about the dangers of not knowing the laws overseas. Not only that, but they have had to express dismay at having to deal with many issues that are based on people travelling to countries without knowing the local laws and customs, as well as ethics and morals.

Having travelled extensively in SE Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and so forth, at every airport in all of these countries are clear signs in the arrival halls. Written in english. Many with skull and cross bones symbols that say “Drug Trafficking Carries The Death Penalty in this Country”. Weatherman you are right. DFAT warns people all the time, the countries themselves warn people all the time. Greed overcomes commonsense. People die. All of this handwringing and emotion about 2 convicted criminals who knowingly committed a crime in Indonesia that they knew carried the death penalty. Do they deserve to die by our rules or even my set of morals? No. But under Indonesian law – Yes. I note the complete lack of conversation wbout the other people who will be executed at the same time. What makes Sukaraman and Chan special compared to them? How will their deaths be any different to the recent death of an Australian citizen in the Middle East killed whilst fighting worth the Kurds against ISIS? He took a risk and lost. Our two intrepid Aussie travellers also took a risk and lost. I am preparing buckets at home to catch my vomitus when, no doubt, post execution the vigils and homilies will start about Saint Sukaraman and Saint Chan. Meanwhile around the world innocent children and people are being murdered for their religion, their sexuality and sometimes just for kicks. Not a word is spoken in defence of these people.

Pathetic.

+1 Completely agree.
I’m against capital punishment. We don’t have it in Australia so I’m happy. But I respect the sovereign right of other countries whether I agree with it or not. Why does the government wait til we have 2 citizens on death row before caring so much? Surely some diplomacy over the years could have resulted in getting rid of the death penalty in return for more aid or other support of some nature. Then again Singapore has the death penalty and its a 1st world country.

Also we focus far to heavily on things that really have minimal effect on our own society. Morally many might disagree on the death penalty, but in the grand scheme of things how does this affect Australia? It doesn’t. He can’t have the moral high ground when there have been so many murders from people on bail, the recent murder in Canberra because of domestic abuse. These things do affect us, far more than a couple of drug traffickers on death row in Indonesia and dare I say it far more than the overblown political hype around terrorism.

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

Where do all the hand-wringers stand on this one?:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-executes-mining-tycoon-050322636.html

Look, if the punishment really was for leading an organised crime gang, and hence the punishment is for multiple accounts of murder, rape, enslavement, etc. – then I’d say the punishment is apt. The issue is that politics and what should be irrelevant interests played a major role in the trial, so I’m not at all comfortable with that whole incident.

The quantities of heroin they were attempting to smuggle were not insignificant. The punishment, under Indonesia’s penal code, fits the crime.

Are you sure your response was intended for me? I just can’t see the relevance of it to what I wrote.

You did cite relativity of what was apt punishment for a crime did you not?
Not only was the quantity of heroin significant but the attempt to smuggle it was highly organised by the two about to be executed.

dungfungus, I’m responding to the article you’ve linked re the execution in China, not the drug dealers in Indonesia.

On reflection I can see your point clearly now – sorry about that.

Weatherman said :

The Department of Foreign Affairs is constantly warning people about the dangers of not knowing the laws overseas. Not only that, but they have had to express dismay at having to deal with many issues that are based on people travelling to countries without knowing the local laws and customs, as well as ethics and morals.

Having travelled extensively in SE Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and so forth, at every airport in all of these countries are clear signs in the arrival halls. Written in english. Many with skull and cross bones symbols that say “Drug Trafficking Carries The Death Penalty in this Country”. Weatherman you are right. DFAT warns people all the time, the countries themselves warn people all the time. Greed overcomes commonsense. People die. All of this handwringing and emotion about 2 convicted criminals who knowingly committed a crime in Indonesia that they knew carried the death penalty. Do they deserve to die by our rules or even my set of morals? No. But under Indonesian law – Yes. I note the complete lack of conversation wbout the other people who will be executed at the same time. What makes Sukaraman and Chan special compared to them? How will their deaths be any different to the recent death of an Australian citizen in the Middle East killed whilst fighting worth the Kurds against ISIS? He took a risk and lost. Our two intrepid Aussie travellers also took a risk and lost. I am preparing buckets at home to catch my vomitus when, no doubt, post execution the vigils and homilies will start about Saint Sukaraman and Saint Chan. Meanwhile around the world innocent children and people are being murdered for their religion, their sexuality and sometimes just for kicks. Not a word is spoken in defence of these people.

Pathetic.

astrojax said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Heavs said :

100% opposed to the death penalty. But their country, their rules.

+1.

Says it all.

yes, like ‘i’m not a racist, but…’ says much.

i’m somewhat appalled at the flippancy and inhumanity exhibited in most of these responses with the dusting under the carpet of ‘oh but they knew the rules’… do rioters no longer read? the op was specifically discussing whether it is moral for these rules to exist in the first place.

it is an abhorrent practice to deliberately take another’s life, more so for a state to sanction this practice.

We read fine, we simply disagree.

The point is that those are the current laws in Indonesia whether we like it or not.

These two men knew those laws, they weighed up a large financial gain to themselves, rolled the dice and lost. And it should be noted that the financial gain they hoped to receive is much larger than it would otherwise be due to the existence of those laws.

I can disagree with Indonesia’s current laws whilst still agreeing with their enforcement when they are broken. It’s what the rule of law is about, you don’t get to pick and choose which laws you obey by whether you like them or not.

dungfungus said :

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

Where do all the hand-wringers stand on this one?:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-executes-mining-tycoon-050322636.html

Look, if the punishment really was for leading an organised crime gang, and hence the punishment is for multiple accounts of murder, rape, enslavement, etc. – then I’d say the punishment is apt. The issue is that politics and what should be irrelevant interests played a major role in the trial, so I’m not at all comfortable with that whole incident.

The quantities of heroin they were attempting to smuggle were not insignificant. The punishment, under Indonesia’s penal code, fits the crime.

Are you sure your response was intended for me? I just can’t see the relevance of it to what I wrote.

You did cite relativity of what was apt punishment for a crime did you not?
Not only was the quantity of heroin significant but the attempt to smuggle it was highly organised by the two about to be executed.

dungfungus, I’m responding to the article you’ve linked re the execution in China, not the drug dealers in Indonesia.

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

Where do all the hand-wringers stand on this one?:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-executes-mining-tycoon-050322636.html

Look, if the punishment really was for leading an organised crime gang, and hence the punishment is for multiple accounts of murder, rape, enslavement, etc. – then I’d say the punishment is apt. The issue is that politics and what should be irrelevant interests played a major role in the trial, so I’m not at all comfortable with that whole incident.

The quantities of heroin they were attempting to smuggle were not insignificant. The punishment, under Indonesia’s penal code, fits the crime.

Are you sure your response was intended for me? I just can’t see the relevance of it to what I wrote.

You did cite relativity of what was apt punishment for a crime did you not?
Not only was the quantity of heroin significant but the attempt to smuggle it was highly organised by the two about to be executed.

John Hargreaves10:53 am 04 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

John Hargreaves said :

No human being has the right to take the life of another. The emotive arguments about an eye for an eye don’t wash with me. There are many heinous crimes for which the harshest punishment is warranted but death is not one of them.

I feel for the relatives of those about to die, the members of the firing squad and the two themselves. I grieve for them as I do for the victims of their heinous crimes.

The difference between a civilised word and that of a barbaric one is that we can think more clearly now and understand a bit more clearly of the responsibility we carry for “lives”.

One this particular one too, where is the mercy that only humans can express? Where is the acknowledgment by these two that they have done horrible things and have tried so hard to make amends?

And also, what part of role models to be exploited to stop others from this trade is a bad idea?

It’s hard to believe you were once a soldier, John.
When I was being trained in the army it was “kill or be killed”.

Yeah, me too. but then I was 20 years old and had a different view on life then.

dungfungus said :

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

Where do all the hand-wringers stand on this one?:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-executes-mining-tycoon-050322636.html

Look, if the punishment really was for leading an organised crime gang, and hence the punishment is for multiple accounts of murder, rape, enslavement, etc. – then I’d say the punishment is apt. The issue is that politics and what should be irrelevant interests played a major role in the trial, so I’m not at all comfortable with that whole incident.

The quantities of heroin they were attempting to smuggle were not insignificant. The punishment, under Indonesia’s penal code, fits the crime.

Are you sure your response was intended for me? I just can’t see the relevance of it to what I wrote.

neanderthalsis said :

We often bang on about the sentences being handed out by our justice system as being out of line with community expectations here in Australia. The majority of Indonesians support the death penalty and there is a community expectation that it will apply to a number of crimes, including drug trafficking. What right do we have to dictate their community standards?

Much of the handwringing on this is either in the media or amongst the latte sippers in the Magic Monkey Cafe of inner-city Nirvannaville. Once you get out of Canberra and the inner burbs of other capitals, the average Australian either is totally indifferent or takes the line of “their country, their rules”.

This was clearly evident at a BBQ with family and friends in the outer west of Brisbane last weekend. My unofficial survey sample was 30 odd ordinary, predominantly Labor, voters (some very ordinary…) working class, generally non-tertiary educated, the type that actually go on holidays to Bali. Essentially a group that you would find in any backyard BBQ in the outer burbs.

The real question is why, if the death penalty applies to these two, did it not also apply to the ringleaders and masterminds of the Bali bombings.

“The real question is why, if the death penalty applies to these two, did it not also apply to the ringleaders and masterminds of the Bali bombings.”
If you ever find out, please share the revelation with me.

neanderthalsis9:28 am 04 Mar 15

We often bang on about the sentences being handed out by our justice system as being out of line with community expectations here in Australia. The majority of Indonesians support the death penalty and there is a community expectation that it will apply to a number of crimes, including drug trafficking. What right do we have to dictate their community standards?

Much of the handwringing on this is either in the media or amongst the latte sippers in the Magic Monkey Cafe of inner-city Nirvannaville. Once you get out of Canberra and the inner burbs of other capitals, the average Australian either is totally indifferent or takes the line of “their country, their rules”. This was clearly evident at a BBQ with family and friends in the outer west of Brisbane last weekend. My unofficial survey sample was 30 odd ordinary, predominantly Labor, voters (some very ordinary…) working class, generally non-tertiary educated, the type that actually go on holidays to Bali. Essentially a group that you would find in any backyard BBQ in the outer burbs.

The real question is why, if the death penalty applies to these two, did it not also apply to the ringleaders and masterminds of the Bali bombings.

Hamlet201 said :

I read an article recently in a uk newspaper about some embassy worker and/or diplomat being sacked for having an affair with one of the inmates in a Bali prison. The point is that according to the article that particular inmate was known as Mr. Big in Bali and was a serious so called drug lord. The article states among other things that he is only doing 6 years – he also has his own private chef from the prison and mobile phone etc but there’s no talk of a death penalty. I seriously don’t get it, why? and what’s the difference – why are they heart set on killing these 2 guys but not him?

Don’t believe everything you read in The Guardian.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Heavs said :

100% opposed to the death penalty. But their country, their rules.

+1.

Says it all.

yes, like ‘i’m not a racist, but…’ says much.

i’m somewhat appalled at the flippancy and inhumanity exhibited in most of these responses with the dusting under the carpet of ‘oh but they knew the rules’… do rioters no longer read? the op was specifically discussing whether it is moral for these rules to exist in the first place.

it is an abhorrent practice to deliberately take another’s life, more so for a state to sanction this practice.

Not wanting to focus on the two obvious current cases, IMHO if an individual commits a crime in a country which has the death penalty for that crime then bad luck for the individual. Places like Changi airport (and I imagine Bali) have ample warnings about drug trafficking and the punishment of death.

In Australia, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if Ivan Milat and Martin Bryant were shot multiple times in the head. Would you?

fernandof said :

dungfungus said :

Where do all the hand-wringers stand on this one?:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-executes-mining-tycoon-050322636.html

Look, if the punishment really was for leading an organised crime gang, and hence the punishment is for multiple accounts of murder, rape, enslavement, etc. – then I’d say the punishment is apt. The issue is that politics and what should be irrelevant interests played a major role in the trial, so I’m not at all comfortable with that whole incident.

The quantities of heroin they were attempting to smuggle were not insignificant. The punishment, under Indonesia’s penal code, fits the crime.

Their country, their rules. If the Indonesian people want their laws changed, they will lobby their government. I don’t think we have to right to tell them what laws they should or shouldn’t have simply because some of us think we’ve reached some higher stage of social enlightenment. I understand the feeling of resentment from Indonesians regarding the sense of cultural and social superiority Australians display towards them.

I read an article recently in a uk newspaper about some embassy worker and/or diplomat being sacked for having an affair with one of the inmates in a Bali prison. The point is that according to the article that particular inmate was known as Mr. Big in Bali and was a serious so called drug lord. The article states among other things that he is only doing 6 years – he also has his own private chef from the prison and mobile phone etc but there’s no talk of a death penalty. I seriously don’t get it, why? and what’s the difference – why are they heart set on killing these 2 guys but not him?

Madam Cholet4:56 pm 03 Mar 15

Personally, don’t agree with it and wish it did not happen anywhere. Australia needs to broaden it’s approach and advocate for its removal for anyone, not just for Australians. It’s 2015 and compared to even back when Van Nguyen was executed the world has changed – social media makes tiny minorities into at the very least significant minorities who can use their voice to express a consensus opinion. It may be that they knew the risks, it still does not make it right to execute them.

Those perpetrating crimes such as this never think they will get caught because there are bigger things at stake, of which profit is unfortunately one. And the risk when they are strapping kilos of heroin to their bodies is not real to them. It doesn’t mean they deserve to die. The irony is, if they were apprehended in Sydney they would perhaps have served their sentences or a large part of them and would not be reformed in anyway. As it stands, they have done great things since their arrest. That in my book deserves our compassion.

The death penalty for drug traffickers does nothing to bring down the drug barons who are not bothered in the slightest about two people they never knew losing their lives and this is where Indonesia’s argument falls apart.

I support legalisation and regulation of drugs.

I’m against the death penalty on principle.

That being said, these men knew the laws of Indonesia and deliberately broke them for their own personal financial gain. They were the ringleaders of this and coerced and threatened other people to traffic heroin. You are right, they shouldn’t have been waiting to be executed for 10 years, they should have been executed long ago, once they were found guilty and had exhausted their legal appeals.

We should be lobbying Indonesia to change its laws but we should do so all the time, not simply every time one of our citizens is found guilty of a crime there and is about to receive their legal punishment.

dungfungus said :

Where do all the hand-wringers stand on this one?:
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/china-executes-mining-tycoon-050322636.html

Look, if the punishment really was for leading an organised crime gang, and hence the punishment is for multiple accounts of murder, rape, enslavement, etc. – then I’d say the punishment is apt. The issue is that politics and what should be irrelevant interests played a major role in the trial, so I’m not at all comfortable with that whole incident.

John Hargreaves said :

No human being has the right to take the life of another. The emotive arguments about an eye for an eye don’t wash with me. There are many heinous crimes for which the harshest punishment is warranted but death is not one of them.

I feel for the relatives of those about to die, the members of the firing squad and the two themselves. I grieve for them as I do for the victims of their heinous crimes.

The difference between a civilised word and that of a barbaric one is that we can think more clearly now and understand a bit more clearly of the responsibility we carry for “lives”.

One this particular one too, where is the mercy that only humans can express? Where is the acknowledgment by these two that they have done horrible things and have tried so hard to make amends?

And also, what part of role models to be exploited to stop others from this trade is a bad idea?

It’s hard to believe you were once a soldier, John.
When I was being trained in the army it was “kill or be killed”.

Postalgeek said :

Other people can argue about the sanctity of life, but for me the death penalty cannot be revoked, so unless we have a perfect judicial system devoid of error, it shouldn’t be used. As much as I’d like to see the Bryants and Cowans of this world get a bullet, the imperfection of our justice system convinces me that such penalties cannot be applied.

Otherwise why aren’t all penalties irreversible? Should everyone be required to complete their sentence in full irrespective of whatever evidence may come to light after sentencing? Why don’t we have we have lesser permanent physical penalties such as amputation and blinding? That would certainly help curb violent recidivists.

ISIS have no problem with the lesser permanent physical penalty of head amputation. That curbs re-offending 100%.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6 (2) states: “In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime.”

One opinion is that that drug smuggling is not a ‘most serious crime’, but the contrary opinion is that heroin importation and distribution is equivalent to mass murder because of the hundreds/thousands of lives it destroys and ruins. If you look at it this way then Chan and Sukumaran are mass murderers and their execution is allowable under Indonesian and international law.

There’s no easy way to put somebody to death, but if a court imposes a lawful death sentence the state needs to be efficient and effective in implementing the sentence. The US state of Utah has recently passed a bill to bring back the firing squad as the most humane form of execution. Google Utah Death Penalty Procedure Amendments. This bill provides that if substances are not available to carry out the death penalty by lethal injection, the death penalty shall be carried out by firing squad. Other US states are also reconsidering the firing squad as the most efficient way to carry out a death penalty.

Indonesia has very limited application of the death penalty compared to the US (and other countries) and death by firing squad is arguably more humane than other methods, some of which, even under expert supervision in the United States, have been botched.

Weatherman said :

bobster said :

There are a thousand things more evil than selling drugs in life.

It was heroin, it wasn’t like some mild cannabis or some softer drugs. Heroin is a very evil thing to sell.

Heroin and morphine are interchangeable, medically speaking. They are the same thing. It’s the criminality around heroin that makes it the problem it is. Morphine is not a problem. You will use it at one stage in your life and so will Widodo….half the people reading this post will have or already have used morphine/heroin. So the drug is not the problem. Criminalising the drug makes it the problem.

Other people can argue about the sanctity of life, but for me the death penalty cannot be revoked, so unless we have a perfect judicial system devoid of error, it shouldn’t be used. As much as I’d like to see the Bryants and Cowans of this world get a bullet, the imperfection of our justice system convinces me that such penalties cannot be applied.

Otherwise why aren’t all penalties irreversible? Should everyone be required to complete their sentence in full irrespective of whatever evidence may come to light after sentencing? Why don’t we have we have lesser permanent physical penalties such as amputation and blinding? That would certainly help curb violent recidivists.

bobster said :

To the intellectually muscled up proponents of state-sanctioned murder, consider this. Instead of Chan and Sukamaran, imagine it’s two of your best friends who chose this stupid thing to do. Better still…its your brother and sister or even your old dad and his best mate trying to make a quid before they slip into the old age pension.Do you still hold the same view? Of course you don’t. So before I accuse you of gross hypocrisy and an inability to think even a few centimetres outside the square, what ever happened to your ability to feel others emotional pain and to give someone a break. There are a thousand things more evil than selling drugs in life.

There are two aspects here: the first is the appeal to emotional justification, the other is the appropriateness of a death sentence for drug-related crimes.

Let’s start with the first. Justice should be impartial. If you apply nepotism / favouritism and mixing it with emotional justification to safe your friends/family, then by the same argument a rapist of my sister should get the death sentence, preferably by my lil sis to get some closure. Obviously we don’t apply this kind of biased sentencing, which in my eyes, makes your first argument a moot point.

As for the second, yes, there are a thousand things more evil than selling drugs in life, which is why Australia doesn’t execute drug dealers. Indonesia, on the other hand, does and this is an Indonesian case so an Indonesian sentence was given.

I have absolutely no issues with your passion to change the whole world’s viewpoint to stop executing drug dealers, but you won’t have my sympathy nor assistance. I believe that there are much more urgent injustices we need to deal with before employing our collective efforts to safeguard criminals whose action directly contribute to ruined lives, rape, murder and slavery. Happy to give you a top 5 urgent injustices I believe take precedence on this one, if you’re struggling to find justified causes.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back12:53 pm 03 Mar 15

Heavs said :

100% opposed to the death penalty. But their country, their rules.

+1.

Says it all.

bobster said :

There are a thousand things more evil than selling drugs in life.

It was heroin, it wasn’t like some mild cannabis or some softer drugs. Heroin is a very evil thing to sell.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is constantly warning people about the dangers of not knowing the laws overseas. Not only that, but they have had to express dismay at having to deal with many issues that are based on people travelling to countries without knowing the local laws and customs, as well as ethics and morals.

bobster said :

To the intellectually muscled up proponents of state-sanctioned murder, consider this. Instead of Chan and Sukamaran, imagine it’s two of your best friends who chose this stupid thing to do. Better still…its your brother and sister or even your old dad and his best mate trying to make a quid before they slip into the old age pension.Do you still hold the same view? Of course you don’t. So before I accuse you of gross hypocrisy and an inability to think even a few centimetres outside the square, what ever happened to your ability to feel others emotional pain and to give someone a break. There are a thousand things more evil than selling drugs in life.

I still feel the same if it is a friend or relative. If you are stupid enough to traffic drugs through a country very well known to have the death penalty in place for exactly that, you deserve all you get. These people made a choice to do this, and knew they were gambling with their lives. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Why make constant excuses for morons?

John Hargreaves12:28 pm 03 Mar 15

No human being has the right to take the life of another. The emotive arguments about an eye for an eye don’t wash with me. There are many heinous crimes for which the harshest punishment is warranted but death is not one of them.

I feel for the relatives of those about to die, the members of the firing squad and the two themselves. I grieve for them as I do for the victims of their heinous crimes.

The difference between a civilised word and that of a barbaric one is that we can think more clearly now and understand a bit more clearly of the responsibility we carry for “lives”.

One this particular one too, where is the mercy that only humans can express? Where is the acknowledgment by these two that they have done horrible things and have tried so hard to make amends?

And also, what part of role models to be exploited to stop others from this trade is a bad idea?

To the intellectually muscled up proponents of state-sanctioned murder, consider this. Instead of Chan and Sukamaran, imagine it’s two of your best friends who chose this stupid thing to do. Better still…its your brother and sister or even your old dad and his best mate trying to make a quid before they slip into the old age pension.Do you still hold the same view? Of course you don’t. So before I accuse you of gross hypocrisy and an inability to think even a few centimetres outside the square, what ever happened to your ability to feel others emotional pain and to give someone a break. There are a thousand things more evil than selling drugs in life.

So much attention, effort, discussion and money spent on a debate about two drug smugglers and their fate, just because they are Australian Citizens. What about the rest of the Australian Citizens – the ones that are non-drug smugglers on Australian soil who are facing death – Not as capital punishment, but through homelessness, addiction, situation, illness. I’m unsure why peoples priorities are so askew.

“Australia, we love you but please tell your Government to stop pretending drug smugglers are hard done by.”

How many deaths would the smack these scumboys were dealing have caused.

I opposed to the death penalty because it presumes that all those convicted are guilty and that they are beyond rehabilitation. However two questions that need to be asked are: Is there any doubt about their guilt? Are they being treated more harshly because they are Australians? If the answer to both is no then, as DF says:

dungfungus said :

“Two convicted drug couriers, one of whom was a previous offender and a ringleader in the overall plan to smuggle heroin into Australia, were sentenced to death about 10 years ago according to well publicised Indonesian law and after exhausting all appeals to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment they are to be transported to an Indonesian island where they will be executed by firing squad.”

dungfungus said :

“Two people have been locked up for ten years and are about to be dragged into the jungle and shot.”
In order to eliminate the contributor’s chosen emotive statement, I have done some sub-editing to restore the facts.
“Two convicted drug couriers, one of whom was a previous offender and a ringleader in the overall plan to smuggle heroin into Australia, were sentenced to death about 10 years ago according to well publicised Indonesian law and after exhausting all appeals to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment they are to be transported to an Indonesian island where they will be executed by firing squad.”

That. I’d even emphasise the ‘after exhausting all appeals’ part which tends to get dropped in many conversations giving the wrong impression as if the Indonesian justice process was somehow misapplied against them.

100% opposed to the death penalty. But their country, their rules.

I’m in two minds about it. The death penalty gets rid of the worst kind of people, but then again for those their punishment is so finite and they don’t suffer at all, while the victims and their families do suffer.

I definitely can see the complicated nature of it. I wouldn’t support introduction into Australia again though. I’m also concerned that Australians only care about the death penalty when Australians are on death row and it suits their political agenda. I think the death penalty for drug trafficking is a harsh penalty though, but understand the thinking, that drugs kill a lot of people, however the intent with drug traffickers is their own greed and not intent to harm people.

Hardly a surprise what the penalty is for smuggling drugs into anywhere in SE Asia. Honestly, these are nothing but Darwin Award candidates.

As for the death penalty in general, it definitely has its place. Paedophiles for a start. Rapists right behind them. There are some people that are beyond “rehabilitation” and just don’t deserve to live at everybody elses expense. They end up getting out of gaol and re-offending continually. Just shoot them.

Dame Canberra10:32 am 03 Mar 15

This is a really tricky issue. I oppose the death penalty as a form of punishment, and I certainly don’t agree with such a long period between sentencing and death (nor do I agree with Indonesian officials’ apparent willingness to accept bribes to downgrade the punishment from a death sentence to life imprisonment, as has been reported). It’s obviously a broken and corrupt justice system and I doubt Joko Widodo will pardon these two, as he’s already lost face over the issue and won’t want to make things worse.

On the other hand, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan knowingly smuggled drugs into a country where the punishment for getting caught is the death penalty. When you’re in another country, you play by its rules. You can’t always expect Australia to intervene when you screw up, and I think threats of withholding foreign aid in exchange for doing so is an extremely dangerous diplomatic game.

“Two people have been locked up for ten years and are about to be dragged into the jungle and shot.”
In order to eliminate the contributor’s chosen emotive statement, I have done some sub-editing to restore the facts.
“Two convicted drug couriers, one of whom was a previous offender and a ringleader in the overall plan to smuggle heroin into Australia, were sentenced to death about 10 years ago according to well publicised Indonesian law and after exhausting all appeals to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment they are to be transported to an Indonesian island where they will be executed by firing squad.”

In regards to Indonesia executing drug traffickers, I think that prohibition doesn’t work and there should be regulation and control of the industry, taking it out of the hands of organised crime. I think that needs to come with increased penalties for illegal activity, but it should still stop short of the death penalty.

In regards to the death penalty, I think that where its going to be carried out there needs to be no doubt about the guilt and it needs to happen relatively quickly. Keeping people on death row for a decade is cruel and unusual punishment as far as I’m concerned.

In regards to criminals committing acts of extreme premeditated violence, such as those who abducted, raped and murdered Anita Cobby, I’m in favour of executing them. I can’t see that society gains anything by keeping people like them alive at great cost.

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