Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

Death Penalty

In Australia, we believe that serious crimes should be punished, and we believe drug trafficking is a serious crime, but we believe that criminals should be punished in a way that allows them to acknowledge their mistakes, demonstrate remorse and be rehabilitated. We believe, too, in sentencing being a deterrent to others. We also believe in a country's sovereignty and political independence but would ask that the Indonesian government note that the international trend is to move away from capital punishment and towards lengthy imprisonment for serious crimes. Currently we face the prospect that Mr Sukumaran and Mr Chan may be executed for their serious mistakes in Indonesia. There is no question that their actions deserve the punishment they have received to date. However, they have demonstrated genuine remorse and are working constructively on not only their own rehabilitation but also that of fellow inmates. Isn't that what society wants—prisoners who are genuinely making amends for their wrongdoings? They are working within the Indonesian Constitutional Court's recommendation, which also had a majority of judges find that the death penalty did not deter any more than a life sentence or a lengthy sentence. By executing them, what would we really achieve? Two men gone and their families heartbroken. Alive, they continue as a deterrent to others. Alive, they can make further contributions in the war against drug trafficking in Indonesia and Australia. As an Australian, I implore the Indonesian government to show mercy. As a mother, I implore them. As a member of this House, I implore them.


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