Tied to a Wooden Cross, Part Two: Boycott Bali

Indonesia does not deserve your tourist dollars. Many Indonesians support their barbaric laws against drug traffickers. This is how many on Bali reacted to Schapelle Corby's arrest for 4.4 kilos of marijuana. This weekend, six drug traffickers, including five foreigners, will be killed by firing squads in Indonesia. Indonesia's President has rejected requests from leading officials of Brazil, the Netherlands and Australia not to kill their citizens.

Death is neither quick or painless when you are tied to a wooden cross and shot. The same fate awaits Bali Nine Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.(Indonesia claims the executioners now walk right over to those they just shot and shoot them again behind the ear to make sure they are dead.)

There are beautiful beaches all over the world. There is no reason to give your tourist dollars to a country that executes drug traffickers. [More...]

It's shameful that the United States is no better than Indonesia. Oklahoma resumed executions yesterday after the brutal, botched execution of Clayton Lockett. Details here.

What happened? It took 18 minutes for Charles Warner to die. His last words were:

“It feels like acid,” and “My body is on fire.”

Oklahoma officials question whether that was true because his body didn't move. Most likely, his body couldn't move because the first drug they injected paralyzed him.

The Director of the Oklahoma ACLU says:

Rather than face the facts that it is impossible to impose any degree of humanity into an inherently inhumane act, politicians have again chosen to use the condemned as human guinea pigs with unpredictable results. While these same politicians trip over themselves to boast of their support for the death penalty, they have gone to absurd lengths to hide the actual details of the execution from the public. From inventing new limits on the media’s right to report on the execution to the use of a paralytic agent during the execution that could mask signs of extreme pain, the level of secrecy is disturbing and should concern those on both sides of the capital punishment debate.”

Here's the statement of Madeline Cohen, attorney for Charles Warner:

“Tonight, Oklahoma executed Charles Warner using midazolam, a drug that is not approved for general anaesthesia. We know from the three problematic midazolam executions in 2014 that the drug cannot reliably produce a deep, comalike unconsciousness. And because Oklahoma injected Mr. Warner with a paralytic tonight, acting as a chemical veil, we will never know whether he experienced the intense pain of suffocation and burning that would result from injecting a conscious person with rocuronium bromide and potassium chloride.”

You wouldn't do a dog this way. Many states have laws banning the use of paralytics in animal euthanasia.

Here's a 2006 Human Rights Watch report, So Long As They Die.

Anyone remember Stan "Tookie" Williams? He was executed in 2005. It took the medical technician 11 minutes to find a vein, prompting him to say, "You sure you doing this right?" Read this chilling report of his execution, which took 36 minutes.

It's 10 years later and like Indonesia, we are still committing state-sanctioned murder in a wanton and cruel manner. This isn't justice, it's barbarism. In the U.S. the purpose is vengeance, which is not an acceptable purpose of punishment.

In Indonesia, officials rigidly insist on following the country's inhumane law, claiming drug trafficking is such an insidious crime, death is warranted. When ISIS cuts off the hand of a thief for stealing, or beheads a spy, or stones a woman for adultery, all of which are crimes and prescribed punishments under the law it follows, the whole world recoils in horror. When Indonesia armed forces tie a group of non-violent criminal offenders to a wooden cross, shoot them, and then stand around watching them writhe on the ground until they're dead, the world just nods and moves on to the next story.

We can't boycott the U.S. because we live here. Our only recourse is to vote officials who support capital punishment out of office and replace them with candidates who pledge to change the law.

Neither we, nor citizens of Europe and other countries where the death penalty is banned, have an electoral say in the affairs of Indonesia. But we have tourist dollars.

Fiji, the Seychelles and Mauritius have beautiful beaches. If you want an island beach vacation, there are many options besides Bali and Indonesia.

< U.S. Statement on ICC Inquiry into Possible War Crimes | Indonesia Executes Six Drug Traffickers, More Planned >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Here here (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Jan 17, 2015 at 04:05:17 PM EST
    Go to Hawaii. Visit Donald on Oahu or Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, or anywhere else but Bali.

    The surfers of the world will never (none / 0) (#2)
    by fishcamp on Sat Jan 17, 2015 at 05:39:55 PM EST
    stop going to Bali for one of the best waves ever.  Sad to say.

    The land of Oz (none / 0) (#5)
    by MKS on Sat Jan 17, 2015 at 11:43:32 PM EST
    has a conveyor belt to Bali.

    The view of drug crimes is interesting given the party atmosphere on Bali and the nud* beaches...

    And the waves and tides are amazing...

    The Aussies should boycott Bali.   That would really make a difference.


    Garuda (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jan 17, 2015 at 05:51:23 PM EST
    is not happy

    Why the employment of the (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 17, 2015 at 06:05:57 PM EST
    cross, a symbol of Christianity?  

    If it is a cross and not a post (none / 0) (#7)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 09:46:12 AM EST
    The CIA Factbook may contain the reason.

    I'd guess that the reason is more practical than symbolic.  People tied to a post would tend to slide downward, complicating the "work" of the bullet-pushers.


    The cross was used (none / 0) (#9)
    by Zorba on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 02:18:18 PM EST
    as a method of execution long before Christ was crucified.

    Crucifixion (or impalement), in one form or another, was used by Persians, Carthaginians, Macedonians, and Romans. Death was often hastened. "The attending Roman guards could only leave the site after the victim had died, and were known to precipitate death by means of deliberate fracturing of the tibia and/or fibula, spear stab wounds into the heart, sharp blows to the front of the chest, or a smoking fire built at the foot of the cross to asphyxiate the victim."[50]


    Granted, the cross was used back then as the method of execution itself, not as something to attach someone to while they were killed by bullets (which, of course, didn't exist then), or, say, arrows or spears or stoning.  But use of the cross in executions certainly pre-dates it's importance as a symbol of Christianity.


    Maybe the cross is merely a (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 02:31:57 PM EST
    utilitarian structure then.  No big deal.

    Then why did you ask (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 06:05:02 PM EST
    about this in the first place, since it was easy enough to Google?
    Just asking, you understand.

    Because of the headline of this (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 10:37:21 PM EST
    post "tied to a wooden cross."  I gathered Jeralyn thinks the use of crosses is significant.

    I suspect (none / 0) (#17)
    by Zorba on Mon Jan 19, 2015 at 01:21:13 PM EST
    that if the people were chained to a wall and then shot, Jeralyn's headline would have been "Chained to a wall."

    But Was It Really Necessary ? (none / 0) (#18)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 at 03:58:15 PM EST
    Don't have a problem with mentioning it in the story, but it was the headline and didn't have much to do with the post.

    It was meant as more than just information IMO, it was provocative.  I though the thread was going to be about being tied to a cross, it wasn't, more of an appeal to not spend money in Bali/Indonesia.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 19, 2015 at 07:56:12 PM EST
    According to numerous sources (none / 0) (#6)
    by toggle on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 12:23:33 AM EST
    The condemned said "It feels like acid" and "My body is on fire" before any of the drugs were administered. In fact, the article you linked to says that too.

    And your point is -- what, exactly? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 01:59:39 PM EST
    As a criminal sentence in the 21st century, capital punishment is a modern-day barbarity.

    Its sole purpose is nothing more than selective vengeance, because its imposition is entirely subjective and the executions themselves are carried out in a completely haphazard and arbitrary fashion.

    Further, capital punishment neither restores the victims of the convicted to life, nor does it once again make whole the respective families of those victims.

    And finally, there is clear evidence that the sentence has been wrongly imposed and in some instances likely inflicted upon people who've actually been innocent -- which at the very least is felony manslaughter, should anyone ever care to step up and take responsibility for their negligence and error.

    So again, what's your point here?


    That the claim is false? (none / 0) (#11)
    by toggle on Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 02:49:47 PM EST
    It makes for a good story, but spreading falsehoods without regard for whether it is true or not will undermine your cause. The guy (who, I note, raped and murdered an infant) was putting on a show in the vain hope of getting his execution stopped.

    And, for what it's worth, the government punishes innocent people all the time. It's part of the system. What's the old axiom--that it's better to let ten guilty men go free than to punish one innocent? If that's the metric, we're doing pretty good.

    Also, death penalty cases get far, far more scrutiny from the courts than other prosecutions. I can say with confidence that the error rate is much lower. As perverse as it sounds, if you're wrongly accused of a murder, you'd get a more thorough defense and fairer trial than if the prosecution was "just" seeking to put you away forever.

    But if you abolish the death penalty, will those same resources be devoted to vetting other prosecutions? Fat chance! That money's going to medicaid.


    Georgia Recently Vacated the Conviction... (none / 0) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 at 11:06:02 AM EST
    ...of a 14 year old boy that was executed.

    So who exactly would the control group be for determining if the drugs used indeed, "It feels like acid" and "My body is on fire" ?

    That would require someone with unimpeachable character to be given the same drug cocktail used in executions, which seems unlikely.

    This is just plain wrong:

    I can say with confidence that the error rate is much lower.(for executions)

    What is an acceptable error rate when killing innocent people ?  1 in 10, 1 in 100, where would you draw the line.  And I while it's notable that you are happy the rate is lower, I would imagine the dead guy who did not commit the crime might value one as way too high an error rate.  And unfortunately that has already happened, and to a child.

    Society should not spend it's time figuring out how to humanely kill people, period.  It not healthy for society, and doesn't, in any way undo the crime.  Life in prison accomplishes the same result, keeping people who operate outside the acceptable law of society, from society.

    I am not opposed to the death penalty in theory, but the problem is administered by a very flawed species whose justice system often operates around individual needs that justice for the society.

    I was watching Dr Who, a bad guy had just shot the Doctor's daughter, he walked over an grabbed the gun and pointed it to the bad guy's head and said "I will never do this", and tossed the gun.  That is how as a society whose criminal justice system is not meant to be retaliatory, aka an eye for an eye.  We shouldn't sink to their level to distribute justice, we are better than capital murderers, or rather we should strive to be.


    He was the control group (none / 0) (#15)
    by toggle on Mon Jan 19, 2015 at 11:21:12 AM EST
    Because, I would reiterate, the guy said those things before any of the drugs were administered. It was an act, but he jumped the gun after they hooked up the saline IV. I'm sure he was hoping they'd stop the execution like they tried to do last time. It was worth a shot, I bet.

    "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is not reducible to a number, but it's below absolute certainty. In death penalty cases the process is far more rigorous, but errors are still inevitable. But I'm not convinced there's a serious moral difference between locking someone up forever and executing them.

    The practical question would be this: would it be better to lock up 1+x innocent men for life than to execute one?


    In My Opinion... (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 at 01:17:59 PM EST
    ... the more important question is "Why kill them when you don't have to ?", it's gratuitous and you admit there is an error factor.  One dead innocent person is certainly worse than none.

    I agree about the moral difference, but I also stated that I don't have a moral objection to the death sentence.  If it were me, the few minutes of pain would be preferred to a lifetime in prison because you are most likely to suffer a lonely and painful death with little medical care.  That to me is what hell would be like if I believed in such things, suffering all alone when you are your most vulnerable.

    Getting off topic on something we probably will never be in agreement on.  It's one thing to kill someone who committed a capital crime, it's quite another to kill people who transport goods other people really like and want.  That is insane, and simply an extreme version of our own War on Drugs, vilifying something in high demand for the sole purpose of trying to stop it.  I would understand, not agree, if it worked, but I mean seriously, anyone who wants drugs can get them in the US.  

    All the War is doing is driving up the price and esculating the violence.