And you shall be taken from here…

I, along with many millions more, have long been an advocate for the Death Penalty for certain crimes; murder being just one, but many other categories of crime would warrant the judicial route to Death row; such as Child Abuse and Paeadophilia, Treason, but mainly being found guilty of Drug Trafficking.

When this headline is printed, and seen on line by over forty million people, not much is written about the nameless and unknown victims of those who, hopefully, will wilt as the bullets tear into their bodies very, very soon. We are shown allegedly-heart-rending images of the ‘families’ as they greet their relatives for the last time, and we are told of the pleas for clemency to the Indonesian President, and we are also told of the families’ hope that a last minute intervention will save their criminal offspring.

Strangely enough, not much has been written about the impact that some 18 pounds of 85% pure heroin would have had upon the addicts of this deadly trade; not much has been written of the young lives wrecked, of human bodies wracked with pain as the withdrawal symptoms kick in, no headlines featuring the countless young women forced into prostitution just to fund their addiction to this deadly dust. No mention of the huge profits generated by this filthy trade in human lives. No apologies have been forthcoming from the ‘Bali Nine’ as their ‘deadline’ (pun definitely intended) approaches.

The Indonesians have the right approach to this ugly trade: they state on placards in the arrivals hall of their airports; “if you deal in drugs, if you are found to be smuggling drugs, you will be put to death”. As a warning, as a definite statement, the greedy fools who attempt the heroin run were told; and there should be no reprieve for the long-distance dealers in death, for they are just receiving what they planned to distribute to others!

32 comments for “And you shall be taken from here…

  1. April 28, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Welcome, Mike, to OoL as a writer, not just as a reader.

    Mike is an author:

    He attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar Newcastle and lives in Durham; he’s one of the good guys. This is one of his pieces:

    • Woody
      April 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      One author for me to avoid.
      How somebody with such a wide range of crimes for which the death penalty would be imposed counts as a good guy is beyond me.

    • April 28, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      And I’ll second that! Good to have some new blood. Welcome aboard, Mike!

  2. Graham wood
    April 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Very good comment. The drug traffickers knew full well what they were doing. They also knew full well the deadly impact of their evil trade on the weak and vulnerable.
    The airport warnings are clear enough so there can be no excuse and the simple principle kicks in once again ‘what we sow, we reap’

  3. Mark in Mayenne
    April 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Yep, I’m not convinced that the repeal of the death penalty is an unqualified benefit.

  4. Hereward unbowed.
    April 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

    In a country not so far away, the authorities rounded up the pedlars of death and summarily shot them all, pretty much it solved the drug trafficking problem – there was no right of appeal.

    They [above] think that, here in the West the authorities are a soft touch, not a bit of it. Indubitably, a blind eye turned with certain minorities thus ‘encouraged’ to peddle drugs, a supply line all the way back to Afghanistan and a drug addled populace hooked on ‘recreational’ – ‘proscribed’ substances is the desired outcome.

    • James Strong
      April 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Why do you write like this, failing to make your meaning clear?
      ‘In a country not so far away..’
      Why not name the country?
      I don’t know which one it is, nor do I know if it is ‘not so far away’ from the UK, in which case it might be Ireland, France, The Netherlands or Belgium or, at a push, Germany, Spain, Switzerland or Italy.
      Or is it not so far away from Indonesia? But that isn’t really much help, since Indonesia runs such a long way from west to east.
      As well as that people in Europe tend not to have a clear understanding of non-European geography. If you doubt that, ask people how far Australia is from New Zealand, or from Indonesia. Ask people to estimate the size of South Africa, the ‘small’ country at the south of the continent.

  5. john in cheshire
    April 28, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Mike, I fully agree with you. The same should apply to the people smugglers. One crucial group to whom the death penalty should apply are traitors; of course, the Beliar comes immediately to mind but other communists in governing parties who have conspired to destroy our country should also be facing the hangman’s noose.

  6. Tom
    April 28, 2015 at 11:45 am

    If we can’t trust the State to take care of its existing responsibilities (and we can’t) can we really trust it to select citizens for execution?

  7. April 28, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Not only has the ‘bleeding heart’ media bias been evident (from the BBC down) but the emotive misuse of words has too.

    These scum are called ‘Australians’. No great furore has been raised about people with other nationalities being executed. So, add racist to the media description.

    But these guys bear no resemblance to Australians. One is Asian and the other Polynesian. Both are scum. They are drug traffickers. Profiteers from the misery and death of others. There are quite appropriate descriptors for them but ‘Australian’ simply insults the 22 million others of us.

    I am content enough with having no death penalty in Oz, but other countries make their own rules. I am not unhappy about that. Their laws are nothing to do with me. Those two broke Indonesian law and pay an Indonesian penalty. The Indonesian law is virtually identical to most other countries’ – drug trafficking is a crime.

    They (the media) say they these two are ‘reformed’. Not a shred of real proof. One pretends to be a pastor, baptising people. Add blasphemy to his faults. A truely ‘moral’ man would accept the consequences of his immoral acts.

    • Woody
      April 28, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      So you’re an Aboriginal Australian ?

  8. April 28, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Having lost a best friend to drug induced paranoid schizophrenia, I can only agree wholeheartedly with you.
    4 young children left motherless.
    If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime, and face the penalties of the country you break the law in without whinging, after all if you had not broken the law you wouldn’t now be facing the death penalty.
    Every day families are left permanently scarred and bereft so greedy people can line their pockets and fund further criminal activity.
    No sympathy sorry.

    • Woody
      April 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      4 young children left motherless because of the stupidity of their mother. Try apportioning blame where it belongs.

      • April 28, 2015 at 8:51 pm

        True, however it’s too long a story to post here, going back many years and there are other factors you no nothing about at play.

        • Woody
          April 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

          Aren’t there always.

  9. April 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Hello Mike, and welcome. Congratulations on your first post here.

    I’m zooming in to comment, firstly because James Higham requested that on his own blog (Nourishing Obscurity); also partly because the comment count at the time I started writing was 5:1 in your favour and I’d rather it were more balanced (given my views).

    Here is a longish preamble, which could be read, skipped totally, or returned to later. My disagreement with you is on two points. And these are general points regarding law and order, rather than being specific in any way to the particular current case concerning drug smuggling to/from Indonesia. I also acknowledge that these issues are extremely difficult and that there are rational opinions held on both sides; it is just that I think the balance of societal good should come down in favour of my view. I also think these issues (even if my view holds and appropriate legal changes are made in Indonesia and elsewhere) should be discussed and should go on being discussed. This is because the reasons on both sides have significance for other

    Objection one to your posted view is that I disagree very strongly with the death penalty (except perhaps for treason during major war). This is purely on the grounds that mistakes are made and I with to avoid the execution of the innocent. You cannot even apologies for a wrongful execution, let alone forgive the rest of the sentence and (in some circumstances) pay compensation. No matter how good a legal system one has in one’s country (and we are pretty well served in the UK), mistakes are made. This is not least through corruption of police and other law officers. Particular examples are the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six. Had the UK had the death penalty at the time of their convictions, these people would very likely have been executed – which it is now thought would have been a travesty of justice. I am pretty sure that, no matter the intentions of the Indonesian government (and all others), they cannot avoid similar and other types of mistakes.

    Objection two to your posted view is that I no longer believe that the (international) “War on Drugs” is appropriate, though I used to think it was. The reason is that the adverse impact on society of fighting such a war is (IMHO and that of many others) worse than the damage to individual drug addicts and their families and friends. It would be better for society to avoid the highly motivated large-scale and murderous criminal activity of drug gangs by legalising a great many recreational drugs and having them available from suitably licensed suppliers at more modest cost. In this way, the dangers of overdose and additive poisoning to drug addicts would be much reduced. There would be better scope for attempts to cure addiction. There would be no criminality (though maybe social stigma) attached to addiction (rather than illegal supply) and so the load on law enforcement and punishment would be reduced.

    That is the end of my main case, on both points. I’ll just add that, on murder, I believe in life imprisonment in most cases – and I really do not understand why we do not have much more of it in the UK. I also think there is a case to be made for hard labour as a discretionary component, in place of length of sentence, to assist in compliance with prison rules.

    Best regards

    • April 28, 2015 at 2:31 pm


      At my advanced time of life, I have come to accept that no one is perfect, (or rather as perfect as I, (he humbly noted)), so I would just prefer not to attempt to set you right, but rather to advise areas where your arguments may appreciate a little enlightenment.

      You advance the argument that a better path to tread would be the legalisation and authorised distribution of hard drugs. I woud simply ask if you have ever come in contact with a family which has been destroyed through one or more members of that family being addicted to hard soul-and-mind destroying drugs? I simply ask because, unfortunately, I have had close and constant exposure to the effects that those substances had on the individual members of those tormented families. To legalise access would simply take away the protection afforded by our Laws against the simplistic attitude that a warning label would protect the unsophisticated, and all would be well.

      In ending, I would touch upon your defence of the IRA murdering mobsters who were freed. A very eminent QC of my acquaintance remarked that they all were as guilty as sin, but the Appeal judges were leant upon, probably by the same bunch who hid Janner’s kiddy-fiddling for so long!

    • Red Admiral
      April 28, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      I do wonder, though, what your highly motivated criminals would do if deprived of their drug trade. Retire to their allotments perhaps? The Devil makes work for idle hands.

  10. Bucko
    April 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    It’s always the usual suspects put forward as crimes worthy of the death penalty – murderers and peados, rapists and drug traffickers, the criminals who really rile the public and media into a frenzy.
    Execute them all, regardless or circumstance or situation. Put them to death and let the public have their blood letting.

    The rules for these chaps in question were quite explicit and they can’t moan that they were caught and are about to be punished by the law of the land they broke.

    Is it right though? Drugs may blight lives but is it not the choice of the individual as to what they put in their own bodies? Is it not drug prohibition that causes many of the issues we see with trafficking, violence and addiction?
    The issue goes way deeper than one of crime and punishment.

    My personal aversion to the death penalty though, is not about the seriousness of the crime committed or it’s affects on the victims, it’s about giving the state ultimate control over life and death.

    Justice makes mistakes with regular monotony. If a mistake is made and a person dies as a result, you can’t come back from that. There’s no point in pardoning a dead person, they’re still dead.
    We can’t give the government such power. They make enough mistakes with the power they already have.

    • April 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      ‘It’s always the usual suspects put forward as crimes worthy of the death penalty – murderers and peados, rapists and drug traffickers..’

      Come, come, Bucko, you know me – given half a chance, I’d impose it for public spitting and middle lane hogging on the motorway… 😉

      • Bucko
        April 29, 2015 at 7:45 am

        There’s only one thing I’d impose it for – Voting Labour. Or Green.

  11. Lord T
    April 28, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    I don’t agree with the Death Penalty for one simple reason, it is applied by the state to those that don’t do what it demands.

    So when you look at Murders, it wasn’t that long ago when people were being set up by Plod because, well, they just knew it was them. Didn’t notice the state getting the same sentencing then and don’t here either.

  12. Mudplugger
    April 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I also cannot support the death penalty, even for the most foul murder, because the criminal justice system is guaranteed to fail on occasions, and any occasion, even one of them, is one too many if the penalty is capital.

    Whole-of-life imprisonment gives me no such problem, because that at least provides the opportunity for an error to be addressed and the victim of that error recognised at any time.
    Perhaps a smarter approach would be to sentence killers to a base sentence, say 20 years, plus however many years of life they had ‘stolen’ from their victim. Kill a 50-year-old and you’re likely to get 55 years (20 + 35), kill a child and at 95 years in jail (20 + 75) you’re definitely in for your whole life.

  13. jaded48
    April 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Generally I agree with the death penalty but the problem will be a jury deliberating on guilt will be reluctant to convict a murderer if they know he/she will be hung.The left-wing media has brain-washed enough people to make a not guilty verdict or hung jury almost inevitable.Also an ambulance chaser only has to mention the Guildford four,the Birmingham five etc to sow doubts in a jury members mind.

  14. April 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    By my reckoning, it’s past midnight Tuesday and word was that they’d be shot just after midnight. Think it’s all academic now.

    • April 28, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      It’s just come in on Twitter, James. And good riddance.

      • Brightside Bob
        April 28, 2015 at 8:57 pm

        “And good riddance” I thought you & James were best buddies… 🙁

  15. Woody
    April 29, 2015 at 10:35 am

    The death penalty is simply wrong, a position I’m more convinced on after reading some of the crimes (communism !!! – john in cheshire) and standards of judicial process (the authorities rounded up the pedlars of death and summarily shot them all, pretty much it solved the drug trafficking problem – there was no right of appeal – Hareward unbowed) some commentators on this site would seemingly find acceptable.
    That said the laws of Indonesia are the laws of Indonesia. If you’re found guilty of a crime for which the penalty is capital punishment then you know what to expect.
    The war on drugs is an unmitigated failure, it’s time to legalize all drugs.

    • Bucko
      April 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      I wish I could ‘up vote’ that.

  16. Titan Ananke
    April 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    One would wish to contribute to the debate regarding both drugs and the use of judicial execution for those convicted of unlawful killings and other crimes as advocated by Mike Cunningham and others.

    Regarding the so called ‘war on drugs’ I would highly commend readers to watch the following documentary by Eugene Jarecki (see link below). And ask all who do so to consider with honest self-analysis and leaving whatever prejudices they may hold aside; and consider, if it does not challenge if not change one’s view on how Government seeks to tackle and also profits from promoting a culture of belligerence to such a futile endeavour and the inevitable erosion of personal liberty legislation created to counter such fosters? Rather as the documentary suggests resources should be targeted at solving (perhaps futile) or alleviating (certainly achievable) the main causes of drug use; Poverty, a sense of hopelessness and lack of opportunity and lack of social mobility endemic of poor education and the marginalisation of targeted social groups.

    And now to judicial execution;

    Tom’s point is very valid regarding the State’s responsibility to its citizens and more on this later, but one is amazed nay aghast at the glib comments by others regarding state sanctioned ‘execution’ for a whole host of other crimes as well as unlawful killing.

    Flippancy aside, does one then advocate the expansion of the list of crimes warranting execution to the level endured by the majority of the British populace in 17th and 18th Century Britain? Shall we then advocate ‘transportation’ as well for lesser misdemeanours? Where does it stop? Do we then advocate public stoning’s, throwing off tall buildings and gruesome beheadings for other “crimes” such as we see in the Caliphate controlled by IS to sate the appetite of those whom think it relevant based on emotion laden opinions expressed whimsically?

    One thought we had left the barbaric treatment of individuals accused and convicted of criminal activity in the 18th and 19thCentury? And had evolved within the framework of ‘The Rule of Law’ to a level where both victims and perpetrators experience justice. One agrees wholeheartedly (and I commend Ambush Predator for the relentless exposure of such) that we have swung too far towards leniency within the pendulum of our criminal justice system but do we really need to swing so far back in the opposite direction that we advocate ‘execution’ for a menu of crimes? And who decides what is on the menu? Who decides how long such a list should be and how is guilt determined? And what if YOU are accused of such (especially an historic sex crime) and glibly convicted by the court of public opinion which could just as easily influence a jury deciding one’s own fate!

    Legally, lawfully and morally we are obliged to consider everyone accused of crime, innocent unless proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a jury of our peers. It is the foundation of our personal and nation’s liberty and the last bulwark against State arbitrary abuse of power.

    If we are advocating that we give the State the potential power of life or death over us then we should ensure that there exists reasoned, sober, mature consideration given to not how the accused is treated and ultimately judged but that punishments if found guilty meet the ‘justice’ threshold (i.e. we give up the right to personal retribution) but that also perpetrators are given the chance of rehabilitation also.

    As Richard Branson so eloquently tweeted on the execution of the Bali convicts, “every saint has a past and every sinner a future”

    And do not for one second believe that the State given half a chance under the pretext of an “emergency” or other pretext would baulk at the removal of jury trial in the blink of an eye. (Read; The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to remove any doubt on that score)
    The State hates juries, for they cannot control them, for they hold the very real power to strike down legislation the State enacts rendering it null and void and to change the law if it agrees with the argument put to it to do so.

    Already we have seen erosion of trial by jury piece by piece and the extension of State arbitrary power to gain higher conviction rates and an increasing criminalisation of the law abiding by such actions as;
    Removal of double jeopardy.
    Majority jury verdicts instead of unanimous.
    Reduction and limitation of legal aid.
    Even trial without jury in 2009 sanctioned under the Criminal Justice Act 2003
    Increasing legislative criminalisation for petty misdemeanours
    And suggestions that have been put out to test public opinion that right to jury trial be removed for ‘lesser’ crimes as the criminal justice system cannot cope with the workload.

    Increasingly we are seeing less liberty and more control over our lives and an increasing criminalisation of what one terms the ‘law abiding’ via petty legislative power being abused.

    The comments of those advocating execution for all manner of crimes suggests that they have little or no regard for the rule of law and that revenge sanctioned by the court of personal and public opinion be the norm, but what part does that play in a civilised society?
    One of the purposes of stern penalties (and I am not stating that judicial execution for unlawful killing is wrong) is to prevent revenge or personal retribution by making it clear that the law has real teeth.

    The contract we strike with the State is that we give up the right to personal vengeance, and the endless blood-feuds that follow it. And in return, we ask it to wield a stern law, dealing with wrongdoing in such a way as to drive home the moral lesson that no evil deed goes unpunished. It’s a simple contract. Civilised, law-governed rule of law societies rest on it, but with the failure of the courts to enact stern law the result is that responsibility is increasingly handed over to an unofficially armed police force, which shoots people without trial, appeal or the possibility of reprieve, and often gets it wrong.

    Watch the numbers grow on this one.

    For those who argue that there is the possibility of capital punishment being an injustice such as Nigel Sedgwick states I would say that it gives us all the more reason to go to great lengths to ensure that we do get it right. No one should be found guilty on the say so of the court of personal or public opinion, rather we should ensure absolute presumption of innocence, trial by jury, unanimous verdicts only, absolute right to appeal and Home Secretary commutation if mitigation is strong enough to life imprisonment to warrant such. And one would add no one should be tried by a jury of immature uneducated individuals and I would advocate some sort of minimum educational qualification (academic and or vocational) along with a minimum age say thirty five years plus that demonstrates at least some life experience and responsibility.

    So in summary one is not against capital punishment per se provided said safeguards are in place but neither does one advocate capital punishment for crimes other than wilful murder.

Comments are closed.