Obviously there’s been a whole lot of discussion in Australia recently about the death penalty, with 2 Aussies on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling.
Look, I disagree vehemently with the death penalty. I think it’s barbaric. I wish it didn’t exist.
But by the same token, I also respect the sovereignty of other countries, and their right to enforce their own laws, so long as they’re not contravening any higher power like the International Court of Justice (UN).
I disagree with plenty of laws around the world. Some of them are hilariously strange and leave you thinking “wtf?!?!”. Some of them are obscenely barbaric. But if you go to another country and break those laws, whether you agree with them or not, then you have to be prepared to pay the punishment.
It is no secret that Indonesia has the death penalty for serious drug related offences. Nobody can claim ignorance on that – especially in Australia after the whole Schapelle Corby circus. If people are still prepared to try to smuggle narcotics into Bali, knowing the consequences, then frankly I have very little sympathy for their situation.
Whether the Australian authorities should have intervened before they got on the plane to Bali is another matter entirely. The fact remains that these people were guilty of smuggling narcotics into Indonesia, a country that makes no secret of their strong laws relating to drugs.
Would I prefer it if they were given life in jail? Yes, sure. But I also respect that under Indonesian law, they were guilty of a crime punishable by death.
Does that make me a horrible person?