Saturday, 20 November 2010

Indonesia: Bali prosecutors claim deterrence

Push for Bali nine execution
November 20, 2010
From: The Sydney Morning Herald online

INDONESIAN prosecutors yesterday urged that the Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran be executed, saying the punishment was just, supported by the Indonesian people and would act as a deterrent.

The prosecution argument concluded the hearings of the final legal appeal by the members of the so-called Bali nine heroin smuggling syndicate against the death penalty.

Chan and Sukumaran, who were not in court, have asked for their sentence to be commuted to a 20-year prison term, citing their rehabilitation in prison and that the crime was not serious enough to warrant the death sentence given Indonesia's recognition of the sanctity of life.

But the prosecutors argued: "Every human has the right to live but upholding this right doesn't mean they are allowed to violate someone else's rights… Sentencing is not only to rehabilitate, but also to deter."

Chan and Sukumaran can expect to hear the verdict in about six months, after the evidence from the Bali hearings has been sent to Jakarta and considered by a panel of judges.

The prosecutors agreed with the defence, that only the most serious crime should receive the death penalty, but said arranging the export of more than eight kilograms of heroin fitted into that category.

The prosecution's assessment was not unexpected. It is required to defend the decision of the previous court and the duo has been consistently handed the death sentence in each court case so far.

In the Australians' favour is that executions have not been carried out in Indonesia in the two years since a Constitutional Court ruling found the punishment should be used sparingly and those on death row should be given the chance to rehabilitate.

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