What exactly is the purpose of law? Its ultimate purpose, I would like to think… is to prevent crimes instead of punishing them. It’s to provide boundaries so people can have freedom.
But sometimes, when concepts such as the death penalty is introduced, then the lines would be blurred: and in a glance, it’s almost as if now, the law robs humans out of their freedom.
Boy Under The Bridge asked me to write about my perspective on the Bali 9 Execution.
If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s about the decision that the President of Indonesia made a few months ago: declaring that he will not approve any clemencies for drug offences, which thus put a group of 9 Australians (who were arrested for smuggling drugs into Bali) on death penalty.
It’s not easy to write on such a sensitive topic, and to be honest, I can understand both sides of the argument. Personally, I consider myself as a humanist. I prefer to think that people can change, and it’s always better to rehabilitate and counsel, rather than execute.
But I also studied about the dramatization of crimes and punishment, and to some extent, I recognize that there’s a need to give harsh examples, in order to deter people from committing similar crimes in the future.
Not all humans are good rule-followers. And as much as I like to be an encourager and believe in the power of positive reinforcements instead of punishments, I admit that fear also plays a part in discipline.
Whatisyourperspective reminded me: dura lex sed lex – ‘harsh law is still law’ or ‘the law is harsh, but it is still the law’.
And to some point, I do agree with it. What is legal is not always ethical, and yet we still must uphold them, because if we don’t, then the consequences will be even more unethical.
It’s not wrong that certain countries are defending the sentenced prisoners… because it’s undeniable that human lives are valuable. But if the punishment is not being uphold, then it may not hinder people from committing such crimes, which could potentially cause even greater number of victims.
And it gets me thinking: maybe ethics on itself (without harsh laws)… may not be enough to protect.
I guess the important thing is to treat this law solely for its intended purpose: a way to protect the people en masse, (desperate as it seems). For fellow Indonesians, I don’t think it’s ever okay to glorify a death penality, or even take joy in a life being lost. Because it’s ultimately a very tragic story, something that should not be talked about lightly.
For others, I think that the focus should not be about #boycottbali, or about attacking harsh laws or harsh governments. No government is ever perfect. And I know for a fact, that my country’s justice system left much to be desired for. But maybe, the focus should be how we could stop people from smuggling and selling drugs – because the lives who are ensnared in drugs and become lost because of it, are also as tragic.
What do you think about harsh laws?
P.S. If any of you has any suggestions on topics that I should write, you can do so here. 🙂
Disclaimer: This post is really just based on my personal thoughts, and not meant to discredit anyone / any government systems.