What Do You Think?

Suppose for a minute that you're heavily involved in drug smuggling...not the top man or woman of course...just a perfectly ordinary smuggling person, who takes 'planes to faraway places with a secret compartment inside your suitcase stuffed with heroin.

The sniffer dog makes a beeline for you as you stand about trying to look nonchalant while you wait for your contact to appear.

You're caught...you eventually go on trial...the Ambassador for your home country visits you...says he can do little to help your predicament. Found guilty and sentenced to death you spend the next few years in an uncomfortable prison going through one appeal after another.

It isn't nice...you don't much like it and you most certainly don't want the death penalty carried out...after all, you're a foreign national in a strange country, the Judge can make an exception for you surely?

Am I in a minority when I thought all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over two 'foreigners' about to meet their end was just slightly over the top? What about the other seven people who were found guilty of their crimes who were also executed...didn't see their names...didn't see their families making their tearful way to the prison for last goodbyes.

If you deliberately alter, or have altered for you, a suitcase with a secret compartment, to be filled with drugs worth millions of pounds in order to take that drug into a country which has the death penalty for many offences, but which is enforced for drug smuggling...there is little point in complaining bitterly when sentence of death is imposed.

28 Replies

  • I think if you do the crime you have to pay the consequences unless you have mental health issues and incapable of making right choices.

    I also feel sorry for the families and friends as they suffer too for doing nothing wrong but their suffering is in the hands of the people who commit the crime.

  • As you say they knew what would happen,did they think about their families??

    If you can't do the time,don't do the crime.

  • Difficult on one this; I feel for all the people and their families; it is a harsh penalty for all but I wish people would consider consequences before doing stupid things. Then again, other people's families will suffer if the drugs destroy their loved ones lives. I am pleased I am not a judge. Love Margaret x

  • Maybe little point in complaining but it's part of the human condition to cling tenacuously to life and hope desperately for a reprieve. They didn't get it so their pleas were in vain. Personally, I don't believe in Capital Punishment and find legal executions as barbaric as terrorist executions. It seems the whole world is full of people killing each other right now. I don't have any sympathy for drug smugglers, I just don't think the death penalty should be allowed anywhere.

  • I don't agree with capital punishment either its something i have trouble accepting and thank God we no longer do it.

    I don't agree with the punishment they are receiving but as its the law of the land there that's whats happening. Anyone breaking the law in that part of the world really does pay the ultimate price.

    I also agree with your views on that Argana that its barbaric and innocent people do die when mistakes are made. x

  • There is a program on telly at the moment called "women on death row"...i was watching the story of 2 woman who had been on death row for some time and had both had a reprieve just before their execution.....both of these women were freed after evidence finally turned up showing their innocence !!!!


  • Is that the man wrongly hanged for a crime the serial killer Cristie did ?

  • Yeah there was a time i believed the justice system was about justice now it scares the life out of me...x

  • Agree totally with you ,vashti. It was a choice, the penalties well known. Guilt clearly proven. That country's laws. They knowingly took the risk. Pay the penalty.

  • Hi Vashti I agree with you too. I have no sympathy for drug smuggler , apart from

    The guy who they said is Mentally ill. The others were motivated by greed

    And didn't care about the destruction that the distribution of those drugs

    Woukd cause. Surely they knew the laws, they took the risk, in a country where

    There is a death penalty. So in this case I have no sympathy for them.

    I don't agree with capital punishment but if you visit these countries then

    You must obey the law or be executed. It's stupid all this crying and fake tears.

    Also it might deter other drug smugglers from trying this. The deterrent factor,

    Hannah x

  • smh.com.au/world/does-the-d...


    '. . . If the death penalty did deter drug traffickers, it would suggest that supply would reduce in the particular country, pushing up prices. Drug use would then also fall.

    But a study of the experience of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia between 1999 and 2005, a time when Singapore and Malaysia were executing heavily and Indonesia was not, shows that drugs were significant cheaper in Singapore and Malaysia Drug use also rose in both countries and remained more prevalent in Singapore than Indonesia.

    "During this era, 73 persons were executed in Singapore [including more than half who were drug offenders], compared to two in Indonesia," Kagan said. "Yet drug trafficking was increasing and drug prices were lower in Singapore. . . ."

  • Absolutely heartbreaking for the families of ALL the men sentenced to die by firing squad - barbaric method of execution IMO. Our two Aussie men COULD have been detained and arrested here in Australia, tried by our legal system and sentenced here - probably too leniently, but that is another debate. Instead they were allowed to fly to Bali and our Federal Police tipped off the Indonesian Police!!! Who are really to blame?? I firmly believe we should handle all of these types of crimes in our own backyard and not send our problems overseas.

  • It is sad that they lost their lives. BUT, they knew what would happen,if a country has the death penalty for drug smuggling why take a chance.

  • Young guys who made a dumb error. How many of them are there? And when you hear drug smuggler you can bet your lufe they come from a less than privileged background.

    If it was some prince of England busted would they haxe executed him? It would certainly be a LOT dumber for him to do it than those guys so there would be all the more cause to execute him. They wouldn't.

  • As things stand today every country in the world has its own particular drug laws and penalties for flouting them are known to everyone. I think it's time for a massive overhaul of the drug laws everywhere. If there were no massive profits to be made then the criminal element would disappear - marijuana in the US is a good example, they've finally come round to accepting the inevitable in some states (that it was never the threat that P.H etc claimed) and others will follow. The men executed were just the mules - it has made not a scrap of difference to those making the real money and its efficacy as a deterrent is questionable to say the least.

  • I don't think it's quite as simple as all that. Clearly you are right, do the crime do the time etc. they knew what they were doing, they were caught, they were penalised as they knew they would be.

    However, the human in me knows how precious life is. But am I completely anti capital punishment? No, I'm not. Did these boys deserve to die? Probably not.

    All of that aside, at the end of the day, the Australian people have been very good friends to Indonesia for a long time. For many years we have provided annual aid plus significant assistance during the 04 disaster. This aid came without expectation but as part of a broader regional relationship building exercise knowing full well that a vibrant indo is good for oz.

    In this case, the Australian people via its government asked for the lives of these two men to be spared. That was denied and seemingly arrogantly ignored by Indonesia at times. That is the sole point. We asked for them to be spared. We were ignored.

    They were guilty. Indo is a sovereign nation. We know all that. Australia asked for a favour from a country we considered a friend. It was ignored. That's the problem. That's what does not sit well with the Australian people.

  • What an interesting debate. Thank you for posing it Vashti. Initially I thought - well they shouldn't have done the crime. But from reading other postings about 1 having serious mental health issues and 2 Aussies could and should have been apprehended in Australia I now have very mixed views!!

  • Thank you all for expressing your opinions...especially the Australians who have put a different slant on the whole miserable episode...

    Hopefully a way will be found to combat the enormous problem of drug smuggling in the not too far future and the death penalty will be abolished world wide...

  • Capital punishment is a complicated issue. As others have said, innocent people get executed. What about the savage serial killers and serial child murderers?

    Is it better to keep them in jail, for the whole of their life, as can happen with the very dangerous ones, or execute them?

    I rather think for them, being executed, is the easy way out. Look how Fred West hung himself, rather than spend life in prison. Others have killed themselves too.

    What about the person who has to carry out the execution? They are guilty of murder too. Is it right to put that burden on a person?

    Regarding the executions in Indonesia, the men involved, must have chosen to take the risk. I am assuming there was 100% proof of guilt.

    What needs to considered here, is that in a way, those men are murderers too. Many people will get hooked on drugs, and possibly die.

    What do you all think about this?

  • If these people are 'murderers' then so are those who supply alcohol . . .


  • You are right there, the same could be said of tobacconists, sweet shops, bakers, But I rather think drugs are more deadly, because they are sometimes contaminated.

    Heroin and cocaine are deadly. Death by alcohol is slower than death by Heroin and cocaine. There are a lot of illegal drugs which kil,l such as ecstasy, MDA, and heaven knows what else.

    The fact remains, alcohol and tobacco are legal, so it is unfair to compare them to drugs.

    I still disagree with the Death Penalty.

  • The very illegality of drugs such as heroin makes them far more dangerous to the user and to society than they would otherwise be. Likewise if alcohol was criminalised its effects would far more destructive than they already are.

    As for it being an unfair comparison I fail to see how. In the legal sense it's not 'murder' to supply users with illegal drugs in any case, and if you meant 'murder' in the moral sense, then what difference does it make whether the drug supply is legalised or criminalised?

  • "The fact remains, alcohol and tobacco are legal, so it is unfair to compare them to drugs."

    I know in the legal sense, it is not murder, be they substances illegal or legal.

    However, as you so rightly point out, alcohol if made illegal, could indeed be more dangerous. I remember when 100% proof wood alcohol was sold on the black market with dire consequences.

    With tobacco, it is the counterfeit tobacco products from overseas, that are more dangerous to health than genuine tobacco. If tobacco were made illegal, who knows what rubbish would be smuggled in.

    This is a hypothetical scenario. I think it would be counter productive to ban alcohol and tobacco. What next? Ban sugar, fat, and potatoes? Potatoes contain starch which is turned into sugar.

  • Just to be clear, I do not advocate the criminalisation of any drug, including alcohol.

    Are you perhaps trying to suggest that supplying a drug statistically certain to cause a significant number of deaths is 'murder' when done outside a legal framework, but only 'manslaughter' when done inside one?


  • Off course not. if you read my post again, it clearly points out that I think banning alcohol and tobacco would be counterproductive.

    I also think cannabis should grown in this country legally and sold.

    However, I cannot in any way, support cocaine and heroin being legal and freely available.

    This is my opinion. I have seen at first hand, the consequences of Heroin and cocaine addiction, and worse, crack cocaine. It ruins lives.

    Legalising cannabis would give the police more time to concentrate on the importers and dealers. It is possible to find a website to support any view you like.

    I think the "Murder" argument is not relevant, as it was a hypothetical discussion the first place. What interests me, is how to stop people's lives being destroyed.

    How would you suggest Heroin and Cocaine etc be marketed if it became legal. Do you think they would be less dangerous?

  • I read the report and examined the table. I have seen Professor Nutt before.

    What he fails to mention is that heroin will kill you far more quickly than alcohol, if both are used to excess.

    There are an awful lot of crimes committed by addicts, desperate for a fix, far more than heavy drinkers. Per head of the population.

    I would love to know how stopping all drugs from being illegal, is of any help to anyone? Wouldn't there be a higher death rate?

    Maybe if all drugs are legal, you mean people will use the less dangerous ones, instead of crack and crystal meth?

    To be honest, this is a whole new can of worms I hadn't thought about before. I must give this some thought.

  • Both heroin and alcohol, and many other drugs, are lethal in overdose. But long-term sub-lethal alcohol abuse will, in itself, cause greater physical damage than long-term heroin abuse in itself.


    How can it be a good idea to legalise one dangerous drug but criminalise another. If criminalising a drug decreased its abuse or rendered it less harmful, then why not make them ALL illegal? In fact it does not, of course. The War on Drugs is over. Drugs won.


    I don't think any dangerous drug, including alcohol, should be 'marketed' per se (and I think there should be zero tolerance of public intoxication of any kind), but decriminalisation of personal use is an essential first step in harm reduction.


  • bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29824764

    I read through the article and found it interesting. Then I got to the bottom and saw the chart. The use of cocaine is still sky high.

    Sellers will find a way to promote their wares somehow. With the internet, it would be very hard to stop that.

    It seems nobody else here wants to join this discussion. I think it is time to draw it to a close.

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