The Impending Executions of the Bali 9

This situation is really perplexing me. I cannot get my head around how I feel about it and I have been trying to for days.

I am absolutely opposed to the death penalty as a means of punishment. I really do not understand how any country in the modern world can believe it is moral and just. It is not a deterrent to crime and it really doesn’t take into account the social context of most criminals. No justice system is always right either; no innocent person should unjustly have their life taken. The hypocrisy of the death penalty right there.

Having said that, I am also a traveller. I love travelling. And when I travel I am very conscious of following the mores and customs of my host country. I am a visitor there and must ensure, as a core responsibility of being a traveller, that I follow my host country’s laws. After all, for the most part, I follow the laws of my home country. Why change that when I travel. And if I break a law I have to accept the consequences that exist in whichever country I broke the law in. The only exception to this would be cultural ignorance, and even then, not always.

And in my opinion, there surely can’t be an Australian alive that doesn’t know that if you get caught trafficking drugs in Bali you face the death penalty. Like really, you would have had to be living under a rock for decades to not know the implications.

And that’s not even taking into account the impact that the drugs you peddle have on the lives of the, predominantly addicts, people that you make profit from by selling them to. The impact on individuals, families, communities and then countries. All for the sake of greed and power. Absolutely immoral to prey on the weak.

And I believe that we are all interconnected, so their actions impact on the safety of my world, detracting from the utopian ideal I strive to live in. They do not have that right. They knew the consequences.

And by all accounts they have rehabilitated.

So for me, the quandary becomes, are their lives better served as living examples to others or dead examples to others. There will always be morons that traffic drugs, but if those numbers reduce because of these events, following either alternative, that has to be a good thing. And then logically, it follows, that if they were released and sent home, and educated others, maybe that serves the greater purpose for our world. Even if they are life imprisoned and stay in Indonesia, but continue to rehabilitate and share their lessons learned, maybe that is a better way to go.

I guess for me, it comes down to how much they have to pay for their crimes. They seem to have acknowledged and learned the errors of their ways. Is that enough. Is following up these lessons with the education of others enough.

They should have respected the laws of Bali; they were exceptionally arrogant by not doing so. Do they deserve to forfeit their lives as a result.

I just don’t know.

I will cry if they are executed because the whole situation is unnecessary and didn’t need to happen. And because their families, friends and advocates will deeply suffer. But the two men are responsible for that suffering ultimately. It was their choice that put them on this path, and not just their choice but their flagrant disrespect for other people and the laws of other countries.

I just don’t know …

I am against the death penalty. I also am against drugs.


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