A Game of Fate: Report on Indonesia Death Penalty Policy in 2019

The pathway to the abolition of the death penalty found a way in the 2015 Draft Bill, which stipulates that death penalty as a punishment in a special manner shall be applied alternatively in court sentencing. The 2015 Draft Bill provides that the execution can be postponed for 10 years if there is less pressure from the public, the convict shows remorse and there is hope for self-improvement, the role of the convict in the accomplice liability is not too important, and there are mitigating factors. The death penalty will also be automatically commuted into a life sentence by a presidential decree if the clemency request of the convict is rejected and the execution is not carried out in 10 years, not because the convict escaped.

However, in the development of the Draft Bill discussion in 2019, the provision that guarantees the automatic commutation of capital punishment after 10 years of awaiting execution or suspended sentence disappeared without explanation. The suspension period as provided in the September 2019 final version actually says that the death penalty with a 10-year suspended sentence must be stated in the court’s decision. So, the efforts to end death penalty again fall on the authority of the judges, and not confide in the rights of the death row inmates.

The development of the discussion in 2019 even shows a setback, the narrative of death penalty in the early version of the Draft Bill that aspire to be a middle ground between abolitionist and retentionist and previously echoed by the drafters of the Draft Bill is being replaced by religious and cultural arguments which actually neglected the position of information and knowledge basis as a central point in the formation of laws. Argumentatively, the use of religious and cultural argumentations actually shows a setback in the formation of laws that should be based on scientific knowledge and evidence.

Through the 2019 Report of Death Penalty Policy in Indonesia, we recall Indonesian government statements in various international forums, which clearly emphasized Indonesia’s commitment to consider the moratorium on the death penalty as steps to abolish the death penalty.[1] This commitment should be supported by ensuring that death penalty is no longer exist in Indonesia’s criminal justice system.

This commitment, as a matter of fact, is only a statement to maintain Indonesia’s name. In this report, it is explained that there are still many death penalty prosecutions and sentences that took place from October 2018 to October 2019. The number of cases in which the defendants prosecuted and/or sentenced to death amounts to 102 cases with a total of 112 defendants, 87 of which were charged with death penalty and 71 sentenced to death by the judges in the district court (first instance court). Meanwhile, in the same time range in the previous year, 48 defendants were charged, and 36 defendants were sentenced to death in the first instance court and 22 defendants in the appellate court.

In general, this report shows that the struggle to end death penalty is still a long-term journey with very serious challenges in Indonesia. A dynamic network with long-term resilience is needed to prove the need for policy changes related to death penalty, and to place Indonesia as part of civilized nations in the international community.

[1]      Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Indonesia (A/HRC/36/7/Add.1) in Adhigama A. Budiman et al., ‘Menyiasati Eksekusi dalam Ketidakpastian: Melihat Kebijakan Hukuman Mati 2017 di Indonesia’, (Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, 2017) 12.

Download Report A Game of Fate: Report on Indonesia Death Penalty Policy in 2019

Related Articles

ICJR Kirimkan Amicus Curiae Dalam Kasus Yusniar di PN Makassar

“Kasus Yusniar tidak memenuhi prinsip delik aduan absolute dan prinsip penyebutan nama” Yusniar, seorang ibu rumah tangga diadili karena status

Laporan Kebijakan Hukuman Mati di Indonesia 2018: Tak Jera Promosi Efek Jera

Dalam hukum hak asasi manusia internasional, pemberlakuan pidana mati hanya ditujukan kepada perbuatan yang digolongkan sebagai the most serious crimesSelain

Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors

The Hague, 5 September 2017 Dear members of the IAP Executive Committee and the Senate, dear members of the IAP,

Verified by MonsterInsights