Capital Punishment

Jan 25th, 2007, in News, by

Capital punishment is opposed to the Constitution, says Todung Mulya Lubis.

Todung Mulya Lubis, a lawyer representing four condemned-to-death narcotics offenders in Jakarta, says that the death penalty is in contradiction of the 1945 constitution, given that the constitution guarantees the right each citizen to live his life.

Todung Mulya Lubis
Todung Mulya Lubis.

Additionally, he says that the relevant law, Number 22 of 1997 on Narcotics, is opposed to the philosophy of the Indonesian criminal justice system, that is, that the primary purpose of punishment is the rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into society.

What's more, he says, it often occurs that after executions have been carried out new evidence is found which casts doubt on the validity of the original convictions.

He also argues that those crimes which are punishable by death, such as murder and drug trafficking, have experienced increases in rates of occurrence, proving that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent.

Finally he suggested that the worldwide trend was against the Indonesian position: 88 states had abolished the death penalty, 11 had reserved the penalty for uncommon crimes such as treason, and 30 countries had placed a moratorium on any further death sentences. Indonesia was one of 68 nations which still regularly employed state-sanctioned killing, he said. kompas


90 Comments on “Capital Punishment”

  1. avatar 1ndra says:

    Salam everyone..

    I’m back again after a long long holiday.

    Wa’alaikum salam, welcome back Mat Malaya, brought something for us? 😀

    We should not be lenient to those drugs dealers.Let them be punished for their evil deed.

    Yes, it’s better less drug dealers and next to none than swarming one.
    They are swarming slow killers.

  2. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Drug was invented for good purpose but then being misused by some idiot.

    Mat, I guess we can say the same goes to religions, weapons, etc. They’re all invented for good but then misused and abused by some idiots.

  3. avatar Cukurungan says:

    IHAT,

    I don’t think Hittler, Bush, slodoban, suharto and saddam are idiots. All of them are genius and their common problems are only about their perception of good and bad thing is somewhat different with the rest of us.

  4. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Cukurungan,

    They are genius on some aspects of life, but can be regarded as idiots on some.

  5. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Dimp,

    Sorry, I don’t agree with you because both Hitler and Bush were doing something that’s couldn’t be regarded as idiot actions. Both of them were planning their actions for the sake of their respective state interest. Their problems were just only their armies couldn’t delivered and realized their planning. What do you think if Bush planning were running well and American deaths were small. For sure, the republicans would still be in control of congress at whatever cost of iraqis lives.

  6. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Cukurungan,

    What do you think if Bush planning were running well and American deaths were small.

    Americans who were killed on battle is considered small, only 3000 soldiers have been killed in combat. This is spread through years of American troops deployment in Iraq.

    But he is considered an idiot as he is wasting hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money to introduce democracy in Iraq, a system that obviously not applicable in a country torn by years of dictatorship.

    Regardless of how the plan is running, Bush has to take responsibility, he should have considered all scenarios possible when he decide to deploy his troops there.

    I agree Hitler was not an idiot, he was just a mad man.

  7. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Hi Cuk, I never mentioned that those people were idiots.

    I don’t think Hittler, Bush, slodoban, suharto and saddam are idiots.

    Hitler in particular. No way he was an idiot. I condemn what he did to humanity. But I admire him, used him on my uni presentation. His ambition, his influence was amazing. Coming from a common background but his power, persuasion and persistance made history and changed lives although unfortunately to many, not for the better. He would have made such a great difference if he had used his power, ambition, and aspiration for a good cause.

    For some fear is power, for others fear is failure.

  8. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Dimp,

    The iraq democracy project was just pretext American for securing their cheap oil supply from Irag. Therefore, even the project Irag democracy is failed but as long as irag oils are flowing under american companies control. I don’t think American will complain about the way bush is handling the iraq war.

    Yes you’re right that’s American death is only few compared with iraqis death but don’t forget 45000 of them were seriously injured and those invalid soldiers already futher burdened American Cost on War.

  9. avatar Mat Malaya says:

    Salam everyone.

    Sorry 1ndra, i forgot to include your name in my namelist of ‘Jajan’. Next time there will be some jajan for u.

    ——————-

    I don’t call Bush, Hitler, Slodoban, Saddam idiots. They are just criminals. They declared the war based on their idiot reasons. People who declared war against other country or other people are criminals no matter what the reasons are.

    I never admire those criminals. They used their power to kill people. What they cared are their popularity and votes. May God burn them in hell.

    Salam

  10. avatar Robert says:

    Cukurungan,

    I don’t think Hittler, Bush, slodoban, suharto and saddam are idiots. All of them are genius and their common problems are only about their perception of good and bad thing is somewhat different with the rest of us.

    I think these guys are neither geniuses nor idiots.
    When I think of a genius, a person like Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind. People like Hitler, Bush, Milosovich, Suharto, Saddam don’t fall into Leonardo’s category.
    Are they idiots then? I don’t think that an idiot would make it to president of a country.
    I think the above mentioned presidents have in common, that they are powerhungry and lack respect for other humans. Some of them are quite clever, they know how to play their opponents off against each other. People like Hitler fall in the category ‘pure evil’, no more, no less.

  11. avatar 1ndra says:

    They’re genius at killing and reasoning, just look how difficult to be punished.
    And we know how the latest man is going.

  12. avatar Robert says:

    Ihaknt,

    His ambition, his influence was amazing. Coming from a common background but his power, persuasion and persistance made history and changed lives although unfortunately to many, not for the better. He would have made such a great difference if he had used his power, ambition, and aspiration for a good cause.

    Hitler didn’t have power and influence by himself. He gained power and influence by saying things that the people wanted to hear at that moment in history. It was sheer luck, because the economical and political situation in Germany was far from ok at the time.
    Suppose the situation would have been different, than Hitler wouldn’t have stand a chance, and he would have remained the insignificant painter of picture postcards.

    He just was lucky that so many people (=the real idiots) listened to him, and admired him for his ideas. He was the incarnation of pure evil. He wasn’t capable of doing good.
    Therefore he doesn’t deserve any admiration, only the deepest contempt.

  13. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Oki doki. I agree he was evil. But that kind of ambition would have been great if had been put for a good cause.

    Many idiots listen to ABB, so I guess ABB is lucky too?

  14. avatar Robert says:

    Indra,

    Many idiots listen to ABB, so I guess ABB is lucky too?

    This is an interesting point. Here you are hitting the core. The point is that many authoritarian rulers, dictators, can thrive because of the fact that so many people listen to them, take them serious and become followers. Instead of using their brains they just follow the leader, like sheep follow the sheperd.

    The same goes for religious leaders like ABB, if people would start thinking
    for themselves instead of blindly accepting the things that are being preached, he wouldn’t have this following. You see the same in the US, where conservative Christian leaders have become very powerful just because their audiences accept anything that is being preached from the pulpit including voting advice. Well, we all know where it has led to.

  15. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Oi! Dont confuse me with 1ndra. I am better looking to start with!

  16. avatar Robert says:

    Indra,

    Maaf. I should have addressed my latest comment to Ihaknt and not to you. Apologies again.

    ———————

    Ihaknt,

    I am better looking to start with!

    I let others to be the judge of that fact. I don’t wanna argue this ………

  17. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Good! So you shouldn’t!! 😀 .

  18. avatar Dimp says:

    The same goes for religious leaders like ABB, if people would start thinking
    for themselves instead of blindly accepting the things that are being preached, he wouldn’t have this following. You see the same in the US, where conservative Christian leaders have become very powerful just because their audiences accept anything that is being preached from the pulpit including voting advice. Well, we all know where it has led to.

    This just shows that common sense has truly died. RIP.

  19. avatar Sayid says:

    Indra said:

    And the one who steal for their family are rare, next to never.
    Just watch the news, my friends, they used for ‘foya-foya’.


    Indonesia lacks press freedom
    . Media sources are afraid to put the government in bad light. Just because there are more news reports of that kind of theft doesn’t mean there is more of it. If people are caught stealing out of necessity, news reports of their harsh punishments may invoke sympathy from the voting public. If people are caught stealing to satisfy an addiction, news reports of harsh punishments towards the thieves and/or drug dealers is more likely to get public approval. The Indonesian media is geared towards promoting the status quo.

    ___________

    So how do you think the state need to react to crimes?

    As I stated earlier, fines or community service. I think imprisonment should be only for violent criminals and some repeat offenders.

    One has to be responsible for one’s act, if you commit a crime you have to pay, before you commit a crime you have to consider how your action would affect others as well.

    The state should also be responsible for its wrong doings rather than outsource all blame to the criminal. The criminal is to blame for what they did to their victims. The state is to blame for what they do to their victims.

    Then what is the point of having fines then, when you put some criminals away for good (either through death penalty or lengthy prison sentences) at least they won’t be committing any more crimes.

    What if after their experience with the law, the criminal wasn’t to offend again? Locking them up forever or murdering them will be a waste of a life. Just because someone’s a criminal, it doesn’t mean they are worthless. A lot of offenders are overall more good than evil; and overall more beneficial to society than costly.

    I think that the punishment should be stepped up for repeat offenses rather than murder someone for their first.

    So when ones family is starving it is justified for him to commit crime?

    If that crime is theft then yes, as long as the people getting stolen from won’t starve as a result.

    You always have choices. If you are poor then this is no reason for one to commit crime, can you imagine if every poor people commit crime in Indonesia because they just want to feed themselves?

    Not all poor people are in desperate need but all people in desperate need are poor. I am not justifying theft for all poor people, only those who can’t satisfy their needs legally.

    Then move somewhere else, you said it yourself that Indonesia is rich, then move away from Jakarta, the reason that they don’t want to move is because they have this dream of becoming rich quickly in Jakarta, you can see that Indonesians are to ashamed to be “petani” anymore, they prefer to work in office buildings in the capital city.

    The transmigration programme has made some of Java’s poor better off, but it has created a feeling of unease among West Papuans. The Indonesian government/military is seen as the oppressor of West Papuans. The Indonesian government is propping up the businesses owned by Javanese living in West Papua, but they aren’t doing much to help the West Papuans. Many West Papuans see the transmigration programme as a scheme to make West Papuans the minority. The policies of the Indonesian government are divisive.

    Yes, but the people have to be willing to work as well.

    Even if someone is willing to work it doesn’t necessarily mean they are able to work or a potential employer is willing and able to employ them. Even if someone is employed it doesn’t necessarily mean their employer is paying a living wage.

    Blame Suharto then.

    Both Suharto’s regime and past US federal governments are to blame. Funding from the US gave Suharto more power to commit atrocities. The US Federal governments were aware of many of those atrocities. They supported Suharto partly because of Cold War paranoia and partly out of greed. Suharto murdered communists, suspect communists and their families. He also sold the country out to Western business interests.

    And why are their economies are developed? Because they are smart.

    The developed countries were a lot more democratic than Indonesia. In the developed world, if people didn’t like their government they could openly criticise them and vote for an opposition candidate and/or party at the next election. Some of those countries even have binding citizen initiated referenda (BCIR). These democratic freedoms made Westerners more civic minded and made their governments more accountable.

    In Indonesia, Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist. He murdered opponents and their families. No one could speak their mind. Ideas couldn’t spread easily. His economic policies were poor. Neoliberalism made newly emerging industries vulnerable to fully developed industries overseas. Foreigners bought up many assets, which was good in the short term but has prevented long term development due to huge amounts of profit flowing offshore.

    The Western nations liberalized their economies after they were developed instead of before. Post war Japan was left with a protected economy by the Allies. This along with a culture of education (especially science and technology) and hard work helped develop their economy.

    Suharto only left power in 1998. His replacements weren’t so good.

    I don’t believe any race/nationality is ultimately “smarter” than another. There is more variation within races/nationalities than between.

    Again blame Suharto for this, he is the one who allowed Freeport to mine in Papua.

    Just because Suharto allowed Freeport to abuse Papuans, doesn’t make Freeport right in doing so. Freeport management chose to take unethical actions, making them partly to blame for the situation.

    Sayid, I really don’t want to argue with you, I think you are a very intelligent person, but I have a feeling that you are clouded by the perception that Westerners are bad and the Indonesian government are ruthless.

    It is the US federal governments; US based institutions like the IMF, World Bank and WTO; and some Western multinationals that have done bad things to people living in developing nations. Westerners in general aren’t to blame.

    The IMF lends money out to governments (regardless of whether or not they are tin-pot dictatorships) to balance government budget deficits. The World Bank lends money out to governments for the purpose of infrastructure projects. In both cases, dictators usually spend a lot of the money on themselves and their cronies.

    “Structural adjustments” are conditions tied with the loans that involve the government receiving the loan to make economic reforms like:
    – cut taxes and social service spending
    – sell state assets and liberalise foreign ownership policies
    – reduce crop diversity in order to “specialise”
    – lower trade barriers (without the developed world lowering theirs)

    These policies have ruined some African countries that previously had the needs of the people satisfied. Many poor countries are now racked with debt and can’t even afford to pay off the interest. They can’t afford to pay yet can’t get their debt written off.

    We have been freed from colonisation from 1945, but what achievements have we made? Compare this with India, Vietnam, they are moving forward while Indonesia seems to be backtracking every year. Malaysia are years ahead of us, if you look at the people you can see how different their mentality compared to Indonesians.

    I would like to make a comparison between Singapore and Indonesia. The Singaporean government decided to create state owned enterprises (SOEs). These SOEs would have a profit maximising mandate and CEOs on performance based pay. They were just like privately owned companies but owned by the government. The government created these SOEs because there would be too few individuals with the courage, capital and vision to do so privately. Also the SOEs would provide a lot of government revenue. The risk in creating an SOE was spread very thinly across the entire population.

    Suharto let foreigners buy up and/or create assets. This resulted in huge amounts of profit flowing offshore in the long run. Any gains in profit from increased worker productivity would go into the pockets of some wealthy foreigners. Wages are low and if the state tries doing something about it, it may cause capital flight. If reforms are to happen, the Indonesian government would have to be sneaky and put in place capital controls like what the Malaysian government did during the Asian financial crisis. As a result of the capital controls, Malaysia recovered more quickly than the Asian nations that didn’t do so.

  20. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Sayid,

    I think Indonesia Gov. fully aware why they were not applied a Capital Control Policy. Because most of them have specific interest in protecting their crony to hide their dirty money abroad and most of them in Singaporean Bank.

    This is the main reason why 200 millions Indo have no power in dealing with tiny Singapore.

  21. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Sayid,

    The state should also be responsible for its wrong doings rather than outsource all blame to the criminal. The criminal is to blame for what they did to their victims. The state is to blame for what they do to their victims.

    How can you blame the government, you are making no sense, so what is your suggestion let the criminals go free because they have family? I am sorry but I think you are just prejudice against the government. The criminals are the one to be blame, they have to think that their actions do not just affect their direct victims, but there will be indirect victims as well. If you only think of direct victims then your logic will work like this, if a criminal burn down a factory which subsequently went bankrupt and the factory has to fire all employees then you are blaming the factory because the criminals are not to blame.

    What if after their experience with the law, the criminal wasn’t to offend again? Locking them up forever or murdering them will be a waste of a life. Just because someone’s a criminal, it doesn’t mean they are worthless. A lot of offenders are overall more good than evil; and overall more beneficial to society than costly.

    That is why there is such thing as parole, and please don’t use the word murdering criminals, capital punishment is just another punishment that is deemed necessary in some extreme cases (I have given the example of Bali bombers, even if they would not commit any crimes in the future, I think it is just to apply the capital punishments to these “animals”).

    I think that the punishment should be stepped up for repeat offenses rather than murder someone for their first.

    Depends on what is their first crime, in the case of Bali bombing it may be their “first” crime, but it is an extraordinary crime that they committed.

    If that crime is theft then yes, as long as the people getting stolen from won’t starve as a result.

    So what is the limit, if you have a big family, can you then steal a lot? So a starving village can go on a stealing rampage just as long as the victims will not starve as a result, then how about two starving villages? Five? What is the limit? You are not making any sense. Stealing is a crime, when stealing is justified then what is the difference between living in the jungle and in a modern lawful society.

    Not all poor people are in desperate need but all people in desperate need are poor. I am not justifying theft for all poor people, only those who can’t satisfy their needs legally.

    So what is constitute “needs” for someone? See my example on the starving villages above?

    The transmigration programme has made some of Java’s poor better off, but it has created a feeling of unease among West Papuans. The Indonesian government/military is seen as the oppressor of West Papuans. The Indonesian government is propping up the businesses owned by Javanese living in West Papua, but they aren’t doing much to help the West Papuans. Many West Papuans see the transmigration programme as a scheme to make West Papuans the minority. The policies of the Indonesian government are divisive.

    Again you are referring to West Papuans, as I said I think you are already prejudice against the Indonesian government because of the treatment of the West Papuans. But this doesn’t meant that criminal acts can be justified because you have needs that cannot be satisfied legally. All I can see is that if you are willing to work, and assimillate to your surroundings there should not be any ill-feelings between locals and transmigrant. I myself moved away from Java and work in a very different cultures, and although there are some who regards “new-comers” as threats, but when you show them that you are working and not forming an exclusive group then they will accept you.

    Even if someone is willing to work it doesn’t necessarily mean they are able to work or a potential employer is willing and able to employ them. Even if someone is employed it doesn’t necessarily mean their employer is paying a living wage.

    At least you are making an honest living, if your employer doesn’t pay enough then look for another job, or maybe you do not have the skills required for that job, then get more skills, don’t whinge.

    Both Suharto’s regime and past US federal governments are to blame. Funding from the US gave Suharto more power to commit atrocities. The US Federal governments were aware of many of those atrocities. They supported Suharto partly because of Cold War paranoia and partly out of greed. Suharto murdered communists, suspect communists and their families. He also sold the country out to Western business interests.

    So it is Suharto’s fault then, he was the one who is greedy to accept the US funding.

    The developed countries were a lot more democratic than Indonesia. In the developed world, if people didn’t like their government they could openly criticise them and vote for an opposition candidate and/or party at the next election. Some of those countries even have binding citizen initiated referenda (BCIR). These democratic freedoms made Westerners more civic minded and made their governments more accountable.
    In Indonesia, Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist. He murdered opponents and their families. No one could speak their mind. Ideas couldn’t spread easily. His economic policies were poor. Neoliberalism made newly emerging industries vulnerable to fully developed industries overseas. Foreigners bought up many assets, which was good in the short term but has prevented long term development due to huge amounts of profit flowing offshore.

    Again blame Suharto, don’t blame foreigners who are willing to risk their money to invest in Indonesia. Of course the profit will flow offshore, but without them, without their investments then business will not grow, there won’t be any businesses open. So we should be thanking them.

  22. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Sayid, we, as a nation need to let go of the past and quit this blaming game that’s been going on for decades! All we need to do from the past is learn from the mistakes we made and try not to repeat them again. We cant go forward if we keep tuning our heads back. We need to move on. We are now stuck in a hole that we dug ourselves in and to get out is not to dig deeper.

  23. avatar Rama says:

    Thanks to them many useless people die every day.

    Wish that one of your family members had a same problem with several innocent abusers. So you will think twice to say something like that again.

  24. avatar pj_bali says:

    Lots of different opinions on this post. My main concern with death penalty is that it is a final solution. There can obviously be no further appeal in the judicial process. So what happens when the state gets it wrong ie: convicts the wrong guy on a capital charge. Its happenned in the past where people have been executed for crimes they did not commit only to have evidence appear later on that would have exonerated them. Do we then execute the judges and jury who convicted the guy as they are now murderers?

    just a thought

  25. avatar Robert says:

    pj_bali,

    You are right. History has proven that many people have been executed being innocent, or after spending years on ‘death row’ turned out to be innocent afterwards. I wonder what the family of the executed gets to hear afterwards. “Sorry for executing your husband/wife, we screwed up big time, but you know mistakes can always happen”.
    Normally when you are responsible for someone’s death, you will be held accountable. In this case the judge and jury get away with it, which is a bloody disgrace.

  26. avatar Dimp says:

    Hi Robert,

    That is why, capital punishment need to be reviewed on case by case basis, and not to be handed like candies. When the perpetrator actually admitted to the crime and shown that he has no remorse and likely to do the same thing again and again then I think the capital punishment is a just cause.

  27. avatar Fanglong says:

    Hi,

    Here in Bali some say that Imam Samudra has spoken & denounced some of his other accomplicies: he would not if he were dead — one more reason not to kill the killers.

  28. avatar ch.d.v.prasad says:

    capital punishment is crucial one. There is no right to kill a person. Introducing the capital punishment crime can’t be decreasing. By capital punishment there is no chance to change is character.

    This is my opinion. If any mistakes are there please excuse me

  29. avatar Khimad Abdul Shomad says:

    Masya Alloh! I disagree with death penalty. It costs very expensive; It shows ineffective; and It doesn’t give the convicts a chance to repent to God and their communities.
    There are other ways to make people stop doing bad things.
    How do you feel if you punish a wrong guy? If the guy is alive, you still have a chance to rehabilitate his name. However, if the guy is dead, you could only blame yourself and asking forgiveness from God.
    Capital Punishment seems to be ineffective because there are people who want to die. They think It would make them fast to see God, and this doesn’t make them realize that what they have done is WRONG.

  30. avatar Jack Smith says:

    I think there’s some huge cultural differences between the east and the west, when it comes to sentences for cannabis possession, the idea of getting 20 years for possessing marijuana to most westerners is ludicrous, still whatever you think you’re in their country and better be very careful of breaking their laws. A real warning to western pleasure seekers. If you want to do drugs go to Amsterdam!

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