01 October 2007

Death Penalty Update...

It seems that the necessary paperwork to authorize the firing squads might be a little way off yet. The bravado previously shown by Amrozi, Samudera, and Ghufron to be martyrs for their cause has evaporated in the steamy humidity of jail, as all of them appear likely to explore all of their legal options in an attempt to avoid the ultimate penalty that they not so long ago craved.

Amrozi is the first and all indications are that he is intending to seek a second judicial review of his case and then is likely to seek clemency from the President. Without the presentation of any 'new' evidence their is no legal reason for the Supreme Court to consider a second judicial review application. But stranger things have happened in Indonesia and it is not outside the realm of possibility that Amrozi's defence team has either some new evidence or a novel and creative legal argument that may or may not have validity in terms of further review. Nevertheless, in light of the detailed confessions and other admissions made by the convicts during their respective trials then the possibility of new evidence being adduced that will see an overturning of the verdict or the commuting of the death sentence to life in prison or something lesser still seem remote at best.

The best chance the Bali Bombers had of avoiding death evaporated with the Constitutional Court's creative decision making when they declared the Terrorism Law invalidly valid (worthy of a throwback post).

If the second judicial review fails then an appeal for clemency should extend life, albeit for a short period of time. It is clear that the President is not going to grant clemency as he is on the record as saying that among criminals terrorists and drug dealers are the worst. Once again a back flip would not be outside the realm of possibility but it is unlikely.

Conceivably, this could see the pending executions pushed back until the new year. Yet, as the earlier post on this topic suggested, the wheels are spinning and it is not likely that the delay to the inevitable will last forever. It is important that not only is justice done but that it is seen to be done. Therefore, it is important that these individuals are permitted the opportunity to exhaust all their legal avenues of recourse before being executed by the State.

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