Alright, we all know about the severity of the federal criminal justice system—harsh mandatory minimum penalties, guideline sentences that are arbitrary and have no foundation in either science or common sense, and the upper hand that prosecutors have in effecting the outcome of cases.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some idyllic far off lands in the Pacific. However, the following story serves as a strong reminder as to why I’ll never travel to Indonesia. Their blood thirst outpaces even that of Texas!
Shortly after taking office last October, President Joko declared that Indonesia was facing “a national emergency” of drug abuse causing him to reject 64 clemency appeals from death row drug convicts, most of them foreigners. Saying Indonesia had a right to exercise its drug laws, Joko’s government even rejected international pleas to cancel the executions, including one from the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Last Saturday, the Indonesian attorney general’s office gave 72 hours’ notice to the latest group of condemned prisoners, their legal teams and their respective embassies that the executions would be carried out. The Bali 9 drug defendants hailed from Australia, Brazil and Nigeria, and Indonesia, and 8 of the prisoners were shot by police firing squads outside the gates of Pasir Putih prison on the island of Nusa Kambangan off the southern coast of Java. A citizen of France won a reprieve while the denial of his clemency request was being reviewed in the Indonesian court (kangaroo??) system. The mass execution was the second in Indonesia this year. In January, five foreign drug convicts and one Indonesian convicted of murder were shot by firing squads.