My Feelings on the Executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

I had a lot of mixed feelings this morning after hearing of the executions in Indonesia of convicted drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran overnight. For readers outside Australia and not familiar with the case, they were sentenced to death in 2006 by an Indonesian court after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin to Australia via Bali. Their arrest in Bali came after a tip-off by an Australian lawyer to the Australian Federal Police was relayed to Indonesian authorities. The court found Andrew and Myuran to be the ringleaders of the group often described in the Australian press as "The Bali Nine". Their case had received a great deal of coverage during their trail and leading up to their impending executions, with many pleas for clemency being made on the basis that they appeared to have rehabilitated and been model inmates during nearly 10 years on death row. [caption id="attachment_2542" align="alignright" width="300"]Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran[/caption] I didn't know Andrew or Myuran; my only real association with them is via the media, and the fact that I grew up in the same city they did. Nevertheless I do feel a lot of conflicting emotions about what they did and their resulting execution; and since the healthiest way to deal with emotions is to express them, here they are: Mostly, I feel a great sadness for their friends, family and loved ones left behind. It's tragic to have anyone you love die, but for that death to be deliberate at the hands of a foreign authority figure beyond your control, must be particularly devastating. I imagine that the fact that they contributed heavily to their own deaths by doing something as mind-bogglingly stupid as trafficking drugs through a country with a hard-line reputation for using the death penalty against drug traffickers in search of a quick buck, must make their grief even more complicated. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago