04 November 2008
The Death Penalty in Indonesia
The family of Imam Samudra are intending to lodge a complaint in the event that he is executed. The complaint will be based on a claim that he has been murdered. There are interesting legal arguments relating to state sanctioned murder.
My personal view is that it is murder, it is a willful killing authorized by the state, and it is wrong. I am not arguing that Indonesia does not have the right to use the death penalty. The argument is a loser as international law permits a death penalty state to continue to use the death penalty. I am arguing on moral grounds that the death penalty is wrong. I am arguing that two wrongs will never make a right. Simply, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. I am arguing it is not a deterrent to crime.
Yet, with all those things said, it is unlikely that any claim submitted by Luluk Jamaludin (stroking his goatee in the photo), the younger brother of Imam Samudra, will have legal legs. The Constitutional Court has ruled that the death penalty is a valid form of punishment that does not breach any right to life protections provided for in the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court has also ruled that execution by firing squad is not cruel and unusual punishment.
I just do not see a claim making any headway in a system that seems to be aligned in favor of state sanctioned killings.