Why Indonesia should not execute Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

The death sentence in Indonesia is carried out by a 12 man firing squad. The doomed are lined up against a concrete wall, blindfolded, and shot through their skulls multiple times. This is the fate awaiting the two “masterminds” of the Australian Bali 9, who smuggled drugs into Indonesia against the stupidest of odds. However the consequences for killing Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who have spent the past decade on death row, is a heightened disrespect for Indonesia among the international community. It will be confirmed as a country that still doesn’t get it; because it lacks a moral compass in a modern world, where so-called weaknesses should be rehabilitated rather than exterminated. States that carry out the death penalty for drug charges are quite obviously unable to cope with the idea that humans have experimented with mind-warping substances since history began.

Why is Indonesia’s government so upset, so affected by it? Maybe it’s because they feel they are defined by it -but perhaps it’s something more than that. After all, why did  the Bali 9 feel Indonesia was the best bet, despite having the death penalty? To kill those filling the supply side of the drugs market is short-sighted and offers no solution for the next generation. The executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be in vain, because after them, another line of young men will be shot too. And so on and so on.



Let me say first if that I am against Capital punishment for any reason. That said and not wanting to go into detail for the purposes of this email I find it fascinating that commentators do not hold up the United States as an international untouchable for exactly the same barbarity. Yet our Australian government has turned a blind eye to similar barbarity visited upon human beings. Although they tried to profit from the misery of others by dealing and selling of heroine I do hope they are allowed to live. But be consistent and lump ALL nations that still have capital punishment with the same disgust.

Jessica Mudditt

I agree with you and should add something on that. I’m actually hoping (probably naively) that Obama will do try to abolish it close towards the end of his term. The very first thing he did was to abolish it in Illinois. And he ordered a review of it last year, after the botched execution in Oklahoma – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/03/us/flawed-oklahoma-execution-deeply-troubling-obama-says.html?_r=0
Here’s hoping huh. Thanks for reading. Jess


How about Bali bombers? Do they deserve death penalty? Never heard Australian government complained about it. As a matter of fact, they supported it. What i’m trying to point here is that, the so called human rights argument is merely a pretext.
We all might agree that it’s the obligation of the state to protect its citizens, up to the last day of their lives and i believe this is the case. Australians government wants to protect its citizens, there’s nothing wrong with it. But one thing they need to learn is to respect other country’s sovereignty over its law enforcement.
I am personally against death penalty in any jurisdiction where it has a well developed legal system, but not in indonesia. The system is so corrupted that sentenced drug smugglers can arrange another smuggling behind bars. And as long as the system hasn’t changed, executing them will be one of the ways to prevent generations dying in vain.


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About The Author

Jessica Mudditt is an Australian freelance journalist whose articles have been published by The Economist, BBC, CNN, Marie Claire, GQ and Australian Geographic.





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Jessica Mudditt