Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sad, bad executions... but I agree with Indonesia.

I have been sad today because eight of the Bali nine were executed in Indonesia. The death penalty is so final and it does not enable redemption and renewal. It felt like the Australian pair had "got their shit together" and were different guys than the ones who did the crime in the first place.
I disagree with Indonesia
I disagree with Indonesia inflicting the death penalty. I think we devalue life when we kill criminals, and contribute toward a society in which life is considered cheap. Often too the best justice system gets it wrong and the dead cannot be returned. I just do not agree with the death penalty.
But I agree with Indonesia.
One writer commented saying that Indonesia considers "drug runners are as bad as terrorists, murderers and rapists." While I disagree with the death penalty, I agree with that perspective. For me people who peddle, smuggle drugs, even marijuana, are "life destroyers". I was talking with a mother the other day and she told me of her adult son's mental health struggles. Then she said bitterly,"It all started when he started doing drugs." In our drop-in centre and through our last Church ministry we had contact with a number of people with mental health issues, and many began with drug taking, even marijuana. I looked at these lives and they were lives flushed down the toilet of life. Wasted lives because they got wasted in other ways.  The people who brought the drugs, who pushed the drugs and made them available are in a real sense "life-destroyers". In my view our justice system, without the death penalty, should see them alongside, and on a par with murderers, rapists and terrorists. This is without taking into account the crime and often violence the drug culture seems to foster.

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