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January 22, 2013

"Indonesia sentences British woman to death for drug smuggling"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable international sentencing story which I suspect will get a significant measure of worldwide attention for various reasons.  Here are the details:

A 56-year-old British woman caught smuggling blocks of cocaine in her suitcase has been sentenced to death in Indonesia.  Prosecutors in Bali had asked for a 15-year sentence for Lindsay June Sandiford, who was arrested last May carrying what officials said was cocaine worth an estimated $2.6 million.

But a panel of judges opted Tuesday to hand down the death penalty.  Their decision was based on the defendant having shown no regret for what she did, Indonesian state news agency Antara reported.

Sandiford, from northeast England, was found to have blocks of cocaine weighing 4.7 kilograms (10.4 pounds) in her suitcase when she arrived on the island of Bali in May, the court heard.

"We were surprised by the decision, because we never expected the death penalty," Ezra Karo Karo, a lawyer acting for Sandiford, is quoted by Antara as saying.  He said the judge did not consider mitigating circumstances in his client's case, such as that she acted under the threat of violence to her family, the news agency reported.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the sentence but said only that it would continue to provide consular assistance.   "The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances," a Foreign Office statement said.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has strict laws against drug trafficking.   The head of Bali's Customs and Excise Agency monitoring division, Made Wijaya, warned at the time of her arrest that Sandiford could face execution if convicted.

"The main reason is because narcotics can massively endanger the young and, thus, whoever is caught with drugs should be severely punished.  If three people can consume one gram of cocaine, then this operation has potentially saved up to 14,000 lives," he said....

Any appeal for Sandiford must be filed within 14 days....  Sandiford's lawyer told Antara that it was likely that his client would appeal the sentence.

January 22, 2013 at 02:37 PM | Permalink


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Happy New Year to all the little boys on here.

Posted by: Ann | Jan 22, 2013 5:28:34 PM

I have argued that either marijuana be legalized or that tobacco and alcohol products be prohibited. The current situation of highly addictive, lethal substances are legal, and advertised, while less addictive non-lethal substance fills our prisons, is not logical, nor sustainable, bringing opprobrium on the legal system.

If one prohibits cigarettes and alcohol, this is the remedy, death for all dealers, lashes for all users. However, extreme, the biggest reason for the lower rates of drug and alcohol abuse in Indonesia is religion (Islam), and preservation of the family from the onslaught of the feminist lawyer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 22, 2013 5:38:30 PM

We can't realize a sentence of death for a murderer of at least 49 (G. Ridgeway),
the Norwegians wouldn't sentence to death a killer of 77 (A. Breivik),
but the Indonesians seek execution for a drug smuggler!

"If God does not exist, then everything is permissible."—Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Posted by: Adamakis | Jan 24, 2013 1:14:54 PM

Many territories of the world, East of Corfu generally, are Pirate Territories. Do not expect any kind of civilized treatment. America needs to rethink when and where we place embassies. We should allow free travel of our citizens but warn them of the Pirate Territories. Go there at your own risk. As for coke smugglers in Indonesia, she is going to get what she paid for. Or what she expected to get paid for. Texas executes more people than Indonesia and it is much smaller in population.

Posted by: OldFart | Jan 25, 2013 8:59:20 PM

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