Sunday, December 21, 2014

Upholding Justice through Capital Punishment

There are too many debates already about the pros and cons of capital punishment. Some people might have chosen to support the life sentence or the death penalty for reasons that may have nothing to do with the fundamental issue itself. But I believe most of those who join the discourse feel strongly about it. And they should be.

A human life is the most precious gift we have. It is our most valuable asset that is priceless thus its violation needs to be punished with the most severe punishment for justice to be served.

There is no real justice if the punishment is not delivered appropriately to the seriousness of the crime. There is no justice if the extraordinary crimes are given the same punishment as the ordinary or petty ones. 

If we compare various crimes committed by criminals there is nothing more hideous than the act of brutally taking someone else’s life. This crime should not be taken lightly. It has an entirely different nature than other crimes because in this case a reparation could not right the wrong.

Nevertheless, a reparation might be deemed as fair enough (not just) when the victims (those related to the victims) are willing to accept it and consider the monetary payment/other kind of payment as a fair punishment for the awful agonizing death of their loved ones.

But if you were the victim will you accept the money in exchange for your life and your last painful moments? Will you accept it as a fair punishment or exchange?

If I were the victim the answer is a resounding no. No amount of money will be enough to pay for my life nor for the painful way I die. Not when all I want is to live. To accomplish things I want to do and most importantly to make some preparation for my own hopefully peaceful death.

The reparation for murder is unjust because a life is exchanged for a certain amount of money when it’s perfectly clear to all of us that the victims would never trade their life for anything.

Not to mention how concerning and alarming the concept is. When one pays for the life one takes, what is there to stop and discourage some evil people from killing others? They could always pay for it later.

Taking human life has become a simple and easy thing to do. It is no different than other crimes. A life has become nothing more than another commodity that could be measured and replaced when it is actually priceless and irreplaceable.

There is something really wrong with this concept. But unfortunately this concept is acceptable because it is fair to some extend.

What I find appalling about this concept is the very fact that the living choose to favour the murderer (or is it money?) over the victim.

As a result some rich or powerful people could choose to hire a killer to kill whoever he wants to eliminate. If he is somehow get caught he could easily pay some more, this time to the victim’s family.

Other punishment besides reparation is even worse (at least with the money the victim’s family could continue their livelihood in some comfort and not hardship). What does other kind of punishment (life sentence) do for the victims and their families? Nothing.

A life sentence shows a blatant disregard for the life that has been cruelly and unlawfully taken. It shows no respect for the victims. It gives them no justice. It’s like shouting at those poor victims: ‘Once you’re dead you’re forgotten and don’t matter anymore. You’re dead so let us focus on the living even if he is your murderer he’s more important than you now.’

The victim is being killed twice. Once by his murderer and the second time by the failure of the living to honour the dead and to protect their rights.

With a life sentence the murderer will get to live his life for God knows how long. He can still see his family for the rest of his life. He can still do so many things that the victim can no longer do. The irony is he even gets people to support him. People who fight in earnest to keep him alive.

People who forget the gravity and the calibre of the offense done by the brutal act of taking someone else’s life. People who try forcing their view on someone else who has just experienced one of the most horrible experiences in their live. The victim’s family are the only ones with the right to forget and forgive.

I find it quite offensive for perfect strangers to decide for them.

Thanks God that will never happen here. Thanks God our sense of justice is not screwed by the misguided notion of protecting human rights. What human? What rights? The murderer who inhumanely slaughters his victims is not human. Human laws don’t apply to him.

The moment he forsakes his humanity by cold bloodedly taking someone else’s life he has stopped being a human and has forsaken his right to live or to be treated humanely.

The government needs to enforce capital punishment for murder and other extra ordinary crimes which include drug trafficking and terrorism (if it is up to me to decide I’ll put rape/child rape too here) because they are responsible to uphold justice for all. The living and the dead alike.

A strong law enforcement is necessary because the injustices create distrust, discontentment, rebellion and chaos. The failure to deliver justice could lead to social unrest in the society and a destruction of a country.

A very recent and horrible example is the massacre in Pakistan when Taliban stormed a school and wantonly took 145 lives, most of them were children.

A county could only prosper when its people trust its government to protect their interests/rights and only does what is best for them. A government could gain the trust of its people through just and fair policies and a good enforcement of the law.

When we are talking about the capital punishment it is important to remember:
1. The capital punishment is carried out for the benefit of the community as a whole.
2. The capital punishment is not and should not be about the defendants (their lawyers always try to do exactly that by presenting them as victims that should get public sympathy).
3. The capital punishment is about giving justice to those who have been cruelly and horribly robbed off of their human rights and dignity.

Justice demands the defendants to pay for their wrongdoing (pay in a way most suitable for their crime). What is the most suitable punishment for inhumane act of taking someone else’s life?

If you listen to your heart you’ll know the answer without having to be told. One doesn’t need to go to law school to know what punishment is the most suitable one for this kind of horrible crime.

In the wake of Jokowi’s refusal to grant his pardon to 64 kingpins that have been sentenced to death by the courts the debate about the pros and cons of the death penalty has once again resurfaced.

As if on cue those who like to consider themselves the only champions of human rights use this chance as an opportunity to voice their objection and condemnation to Jowoki’s decision.

Not that it matters.

This particular case (drug trafficking) aside (Indonesia has ± 4.5 million drug addicts which is almost equal to the whole population of a small country like Singapore – just imagine what happens to Singapore if all of its people are drug addicts; 1.2 million addicts are beyond saving/rehabilitation; 30 – 40 addicts die every day) the Indonesian population is overwhelmingly in favour of death penalty.

Some countries might have a miniscule number of petty crimes but we are inundated with news of heinous murder cases across the country where the criminals show no remorse for their horrific crimes. Not to mention terrorism.

As one of the victims of the terrorists’ attack (Kuningan’s bomb) I’ve come to a realization that although they may look like a human but they are not. God’s law doesn’t apply to them let alone ours. Clemency for these monsters is totally against the public sense of justice and righteousness.

What if we take the life of an innocent? 

Well, I don’t know how it is in other countries but here these kind of crimes are being investigated under public’s watchful eyes. All people related to the victims and the criminals are being thoroughly investigated.

There is absolutely no way an innocent is going to be accused and executed for thing he doesn’t do. Not for the kind of horrendous crimes we have here. Most of the criminals are caught not long after fleeing the crime scenes trying to hide themselves and destroying the evidences.

Despite the very clear and obvious facts found they are being given a chance to prove their innocents. The whole country can see and follow their movements before and after committing their evil deeds.

If I have to deliver the death penalty myself, I don’t think I would be able to do it. I’ll probably change my mind and ask for a life sentence instead. Why? Because taking someone else’s life is not that easy no matter how entitled you are.

But our inability to carry out some punishments doesn’t mean that we should renounce them. We should never renounce justice no matter how hard it is.

That is why we need our Government to do it on our behalf. When they do it, it is the enforcement of the law and not murder. And it is done for the sake of community as a whole. It is done to uphold justice and nothing more.

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