Capital Punishment for Drug Traffickers

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People engaged in drug trafficking take risks, which include the risk of being caught in a country whose laws provide for the death penalty for what they do.  The bad guys weigh this huge risk against the huge profits they make when they don’t get caught.

Two Australian citizens have been convicted of drug trafficking and are now on Death Row in Indonesia.  The Australian Government, which is strongly opposed to the capital punishment on principle, understandably appealed to the Indonesian Government to spare their lives.  The Indonesians, equally understandably, said, “No. Sorry. This is our country, our law and our decision.”

A friendly, respectful neighbour would have accepted that answer.  One can express disagreement – dismay even – but in the end one should accept that different countries have different laws and different ways of punishing the people who break them.  Indonesians may disagree with some of Australia’s laws and practices, but they are polite enough and smart enough to keep silent.

As well as making a bonfire of its political capital and alienating its most important neighbour, the Australian Government – backed up by Sir Richard Branson and a host of other celebrities – has make me extremely stroppy.

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