Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

No Winners in the Death Penalties of Bali Bombers

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

No Winners in the Death Penalties of Bali Bombers

Article excerpt

I HAVE to admit to feeling a significant degree of sadness when I heard on Sunday morning that the three Indonesian men held responsible for the Bali bombings had been killed during the night.

I guess there was also some sense of relief that the ordeal was over - for these men who have been awaiting death, for the members of their families, for the families of those who were injured in the bombings, and the other victims who live with the physical and psychological scars.

I think my sadness came from the recognition that in some parts of our world it is legitimate to end a person's life, to kill them, as a penalty for the fact that they have been responsible for killing other people.

My sadness was heightened because I knew that some Australians, perhaps even friends and neighbours of mine, would approve of this, and even celebrate it!

It seems to me that there are no winners in a situation like this. Violence only breeds more violence, and fear of violence, resolving nothing.

We live now with the fear of more reprisals, and the possibility that these men, in their own circles, will be raised to hero status.

I can't imagine that for those whose loved ones were killed in the bombings in 2002, the knowledge that these three men have been killed will minimise the impact of their loss, or bring any relief for their continuing grief.

I cannot see that there is any way to justify the death penalty, no matter how heinous the crime that has been committed.

Life is the ultimate gift which each of us has received, the ground of our existence.

Our respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life is not to be limited by race, creed, culture, values, or even behaviour. Our reverence and respect for the life of other people is to extend even to those who themselves have displayed contempt for the life of others. …

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