In response to Tim Costello’s article in The Daily Telegraph: Our death penalty stance is hypocritical on October 11, 2007 12:00AM, I will highlight four points on why I disagree with him. I do have respect for Tim Costello as I am a Christian like him but I cannot support him in his opinion for world abolition of the death penalty (I was a former opponent myself).
1. I oppose the death penalty. And I believe that such opposition must be consistent and not selective. For our government to plead for the life of Scott Rush and Van Nguyen but then argue the Bali bombers should die is inconsistent.
Comment: I respect your decision to oppose the death penalty but for the case of the worst of the worst criminals, some death penalty opponents even remain silent. In this case, the Bail Bombers are terrorists who had been proven to be a threat to society and they need to be removed permanently, at the same time, the Bali Bombers are Indonesian citizens and they had been dealt with by the law of that country and we must respect that.
2. Personally, I prefer a global ethic that says the death penalty anywhere is barbaric.
Comment: British journalist, Leo McKinstry once wrote in The Daily Mail: “There is nothing barbaric about the death penalty. The real barbarism lies in refusing to punish criminals.”
3. It is not a deterrent and the state as executioner suffers disorientation and disrespect.
Comment: The death penalty does deter certain crimes but it depends on how it is used. If the death penalty does not deter any crime, prisons and fines do not either. I do not think that those executioners who were in the firing squad that sent the Bali Bombers to their death felt that they were disrespected and suffered disorientation, but they are protecting their country. If nobody wants to do the hangman’s job, hire a Saudi Arabian executioner who takes pride in doing it.
4. For Scott Rush and the rest of the Bali Nine, their best chance is universal, not selective, opposition to execution.
Comment: I do not think the public will agree to universal opposition to execution as many people feel that the worst of the worst criminals must be put to death.