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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Waiting too long for death

If there is anything more obscene than the death penalty itself, it is the system which keeps men and women waiting on death row for five, ten, fifteen years while appeal after appeal rumbles on. This is if anything a puishment worse than death. Sometimes they are released after ten years or so with a mumbled 'Sorry, some sort of mistake', often without any kind of restitution, monetary or otherwise (which of course underlines the fact that a very considerable number of innocent people must have been executed in the past). America is a prime participant in this obscenity; we can't know about China, for which country the number of executed people is a state secret! - but we must suspect the worst. At least the behaviour of Indonesia with respect to two convicted Australian drug smugglers has given the problem considerable publicity recently. Can any sensible person actually doubt that the death penalty is something to which no respectable country should subscribe?

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