I feel a heavy weight in the pit of my stomach as I write this. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been moved to Nusa Kambangan, where Indonesia’s prisoners are executed. They are killed by firing squad.
Their death is now +-3 days away. After many years, the bureaucratic wheels are now moving more quickly.
I understand that Indonesia wants to stop the drug trade, for good reason, even though the drugs in question were bound for Australia. Had it not been for the Australian Federal Police tipping off the Indonesian police, these two men would not now be facing the ultimate penalty, which is not applied in the country the federal police of which is ultimately responsible for handing then over.
I so, however, understand that the laws of other countries apply in those countries. Our governments keep reminding us of this, and it is wise to take note. Once convicted of a crime elsewhere, even if it is not a crime in Australia, there is precious little that the government can do.
I also understand taking a life in self-defence. Drastic circumstances may call for drastic measures, and I have seen such circumstances (though, thankfully, not acted upon them).
It is even understandable, if not allowable, that one might take a life in a moment of passion or anger. This is wrong, but it is at least not pre-planned.
I also understand the necessity of due judicial process which can prolong final outcomes for years. We must have due process, exhausting all legal avenues of appeal, for whatever outcome it might be.
What I struggle to understand is that, having made a decision many years before, the bureaucracy of a state grinds over its slow and deliberate wheels to process the taking of life, and then does so. For me, regardless of the crime, having the intent and planning, this is bureaucratic murder.
No country should do this – not Indonesia, not the United States – no-one. The bureaucratic taking of life does not speak to the sins of the condemned, but about the intrinsic values of the condemner. For this reason, I oppose state murder, everywhere, always.