Do unto Bali Bombers as You Would Have Them do unto You

This issue has been really getting to me recently, so here I am putting my 2000 rupiahs in.


First let me say that  the Bali bomb was a terrible tragedy, terribly sad, cruel, unfair and unjust what happened to the 88 (or there abouts) Australians killed, the countless more Indonesians who died, and all their friends and families.  The perpetrators should certainly be brought to justice.  (Of course, same goes for the second Bali bombing)


But the key here is “justice”.  It’s funny how so many Australians were concerned with whether or not Schapelle received a fair trial, whether or not her guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt, but no one seems to care whether or not the accused Bali bombers had a fair trial or not, all they seem to care about is that they are punished severely enough.


I’ve heard a number of comments in the media recently along the lines of “they need to hurry up and execute them.  It will be an embarrassment to Indonesia if they don’t execute them soon”.  Developing countries can’t win can they; one day they’re a disgrace to the international community because they’re executing people, the next day they’re an embarrassment because they’re not executing people.


We need to be principled, and consistent.


There are many good, rational, and reasonable justifications for capital punishment.  Keeping people locked up is a burden on tax payers money, money that could otherwise be spent on helping the innocent and the poor, for example.  If faced with 20 years + in a ridiculously hot, stuffy, stinky, disease-ridden Indonesian prison, with open drain toilets and high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, with I can’t even imagine what kind of food, I might very well prefer death.


Despite this, I don’t believe in capital punishment.  I don’t think it’s right to make killing illegal, and then kill people ourselves if they break the law.  And just think of the consequences if we get the wrong person.


However, whether you are pro or anti capital punishment, I think we need to be consistent.  If you would not support capital punishment in your own country, your own state, then don’t support it in other people’s country.


Before you wish capital punishment on others, think about it if it was your children, your parents, or your friend who was facing that sentence.  Surely life in prison is bad enough?


As I believe most people would be against capital punishment in Australia, it shocks and angers me to hear people demanding Indonesia executes the Bali bombers.  I think we should be demanding Indonesia abolishes capital punishment altogether, rather than demanding they implement it.


So please, unless you would be happy to see capital punishment make a come back in Australia, don’t demand the Bali bombers’ execution!  Be consistent with your principles and demand that the Bali bombers, what ever their crimes, are not killed by their government.


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    anonymouslee said,

    I completely agree with you Charley. Capital punishment is archaic and should be abolished world wide. I do not see how one can EVER justify taking the life of another, no matter how evil that life may be – no one has the right to take someone’s life. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  2. 2

    Me said,

    So. . If your child and other family members (lets just say: mother, your partner and brother) were all killed in the bali bombings,
    would your opinions be the same?
    For some reason? I dont think so. .
    Put the shoe on the other foot.
    How would you feel if you buried your loved ones?

    Bali bombers were executed just after midnight – early morning 9/11/08
    Check the date (the trade centre bombings were on 11/9) – weird hey?
    Something fishy is going on..
    Be careful Australians- they’re coming 4 you

  3. 3

    Equal rights said,

    I dont agree with the government killing anyone of ANY crime. As stated above. The bali prison is bad enough. The amount of HIV in there, prisoners are bound to eventually die anyway.
    Also stated above i have thought about (putting the shoe on the other foot) i would die for my family and come to the crunch, probably kill 4 em, but its NOT right the government should shoot them.. Maybe give 1 family member from each bomb victim a gun with 1 bullet and then call it even- an eye 4 an eye

  4. 4

    Tarsha said,

    Bali bombers were shot through the heart just past midnight in the early hours on 9/11/08. The world trade centres were attacked on 11/09/01
    Check out the dates, something weirds going on behind closed doors?
    This is way 2 strange 4 coincidence.. Dont you think?

  5. 5

    Charley said,

    Wow that thing with the dates is freaky. I wonder if the Indonesian authorities planned that. Probably did I guess. Now we have 9/11 (as the Americans call it) and our own 9/11 revenge. Very creepy.

    Re putting the shoe on the other foot: I have thought about if it were my family, my partner and my love ones who had been killed. I mean I’ve really spent time thinking about it and trying to imagine how I would feel (probably too much time on my hands). I realise I would be so so so upset, devistated, and extremely angry with the people who had done it, knowing that I would never see my partner etc again. Of caurse words would never be able to express how you would feel knowing that your loved ones were no more, were gone, were dead, thanks to a couple of crazy extremeists who didn’t care who they killed.

    As said above, I too would do anything to defend my family and loved ones, probably even kill for them. But that is in “the heat of battle”, if it was to protect them. I mean I might kill them to stop them killing my family, or, once my family was dead or injured, maybe kill the person who did it to stop them getting away. But now, years after the attack, when the perpetrators are behind bars and unable to attack again, killing them is killing in cold blood. It’s killing simply for revenge. I can understand killing in self defence, but not revenge – not killing carried out by the state for revenge. At the very least, revenge should be a personal thing not something you get the state to do on your behalf.

    But again, if your pro capital punishment, as in you would like to have capital punishment in your own country, then (although I disagree with you) I can understand why you would want to call for people like the Bali bombers to be executed. The thing I object to is the double standards of people demanding (or even condoning) the execution of these people when they wouldn’t condone or tolerate capital punishment in their country.

    On another note, what have we gained from the execution? According to the extremist followers of the 3 deceased, the Bali bombers will now be in heaven being looked after by 40 virgins or something. By executing them we have made them into mardyrs – something to be looked up to. We have put the media spotlight on them, and allowed them to leave the Earth in glory and honor. As a result, we are now probably at greater risk of terrorist attack. WOOPS! Wasn’t the whole point of this to be making us safer from terrorists? Isn’t the whole point of capital punishment to deter crime?

    On the other hand, if they had been left to fester and rot to an old age in prison I don’t think people would be looking up to them as much. It’s certainly a lot longer road to get to your 40 virgins. Doesn’t seem as inviting. So, just like we needed to do with Iraq, we need to keep our overall objectives (to make us safer) in mind when we are making these decisions. Don’t let a short term tactical win turn into a long term strategic loss.

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