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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

State-sanctioned murder must be opposed everywhere

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I am saddened by the executions, and my thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones in this way. Yet I am also astounded at the reactions to the execution of Andrew and Myuran.

There has been widespread outrage expressed publicly and privately, and yet few people have stopped to consider the others who were executed, or the fact that in many more countries, including some states of the USA, the death penalty for crime rarely rates a mention.

Are we witnessing an outpouring of sentimentality simply because we regarded Andrew and Myuran as ‘our own people’, or are we truly opposed to the principle of state-sanctioned murder of all people in all countries of the world?

If the latter, then why is the government making no change to its relationship with the USA or other countries that execute people, as it is with Indonesia? I would ask all who objected to the execution of Andrew and Myuran to consider this!

Much as I detest the death penalty, I also think we need to look less harshly on Indonesia’s actions.

In my opinion, it is overly simplistic to judge a third-world nation, rife with the problems associated with overpopulation and underdevelopment, a nation that simply does not have the capacity to support the long-term humane imprisonment and rehabilitation of large numbers of people who break its laws, by the standards of a westernized, developed and economically advanced society.

Rather than the kind of condemnation of Indonesia we have seen, surely it would be better to condemn the use of the death penalty right around the world, and have all nations cooperate and work together to bring about its end and to introduce alternative measures of justice and crime prevention.

May Andrew, Myu and all who have been ‘legally’ murdered rest in peace. May their families be comforted by the support of those who opposed the fate of these men. And may Australia, Indonesia, the USA and all nations work together to find a way to recognise and abolish the merciless death penalty right around the world.

Jill Garsden, Goonellabah


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  1. I am with you Jill. The news was chilling.
    The indonesian president Joko Widodo, made sure the marksmen shot straight and the executions went well for his presidency and according to plan but two Australian lives were snuffed out that had so much ahead of them. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran died defiant and singing with their other cellmates.
    There is a problem with repealing the death penalty expecially in the USA. More jails would have to be built to hold all the prisoners and that is a cost to the US economy. We all know government economics is counted more important than human lives.


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