Pleas for death-row convicts grow louder

Death-penalty critics are continuing to call on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to spare the lives of convicted drug dealers, several of whom will face the firing squad this month.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) recently revealed the names of 11 death-row convicts on its soon-to-be-executed list, which include two Australian nationals — Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Indonesian drug trafficker Zainal Abidin and three Indonesian murder convicts — Syofial, Sargawi and Harun — are also on the list of inmates set to face the firing squad on the isolated Nusakambangan in Cilacap, Central Java.

Joining other human rights campaigners who have repeatedly called for the government to stop executing drug convicts in the fight against narcotics, the Institute for Criminal Justice (ICJR) called for the Judicial Commission to review all verdicts handed down to drug convicts after finding strong grounds that as many as 135 verdicts were marred with irregularities that contravened the principles of a fair trial.

“We urge the Supreme Court to consider granting case reviews,”the ICJR said in a statement on Sunday.

Prominent human rights lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, the attorney for the two Australians — Sukumaran and Chan — confirmed that both of his clients had submitted their second case-review proposal to the Denpasar District Court, a move intended to delay their executions.

The two Australians, whose first case-review proposals were rejected by the same court, were put on the waiting list of the next batch of executions after Jokowi rejected their clemency bids last year.

“Yes, we have filed the case-review proposals [with the court],” Todung said on Sunday.

Earlier on Friday, Todung said his clients had become better people. “With their rehabilitation, with all the changes that have taken place, I think they deserve a second chance,” he said.

He was confident the case reviews would be granted, based on the Constitutional Court’s ruling that allows a convict to file multiple case-review proposals. “We have the right to lodge [another] review.”

AGO spokesman Tony Tubagus Spontana confirmed the proposal submissions for the two Australian convicts.

“They filed their requests on Friday,” Tony said on Sunday.

Tony, however, did not answer when asked whether the case-review petitions would consequently delay the executions of the two foreign nationals.

Earlier, Attorney General HM Prasetyo said that a decision on the fate of a death convict became final once their clemency request to the President was rejected.

The Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court have disagreed about how many case-review proposals a convict should be permitted.

The AGO has sided with the Supreme Court, which says a convict should only be given one chance for a case review.

The Constitutional Court last year, through a ruling on a judicial review filed by former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Antasari Azhar, who has been seeking a way to clear his name in a murder case, claims that every citizen has the right to file multiple case-review proposals should there be enough evidence to challenge their verdicts.

On Saturday, volunteers from a local organization in Bali, the Mercy Campaign, distributed #keephopealive stickers to boost support for the anti-death penalty movement in the country.

“We want to raise people’s awareness about the death penalty and execution plan for Myuran and Andrew [Chan]. We want people to know that there is a problem with the death sentence. These two people have repented and yet they will be executed,” campaign coordinator Matius Arif said.

“They were drug dealers, yes. But that was 10 years ago,” Arif added.

He said the government should focus on law enforcement instead of executing people.

Sumber: The Jakarta Post

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