Indonesia's execution methods

Amrozi, the smiling bomberAmrozi and, er, ...?

With time running out for the Bali bombers, there’s a morbid news report from the Herald that they
want to be beheaded as a preferred means of execution.

Refuting claims that this was a delaying tactic, their lawyer (Mahendradatta) said the issue was about ensuring that the “due processes of law was followed when it came to irreversible punishment and not about saving the lives of Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra. Yeah right.

But besides beheading, what other options are available to the authorities? Well here are some of them:

a) Firing squad. Indonesia’s traditional method of execution. A number of Indonesian soldiers aim at the executee’s heart. As only one of the soldiers’ rifles has a real bullet (the others are given blanks), noone knows who actually killed the executee. Death is usually instant.

b) Public hanging. The short drop method in which the executee drops only a short distance - and thus the neck is not broken - is preferable. In this case a slow death takes place from suffocation.

c) Stoning. The great advantage of this method is that it would allow public participation. Not only that but significant funds could be raised for the families of those people killed and injured in the Bali bombing by charging people 50 thousand rupiah or so to throw a stone. If only small stones are used, the executte suffers an extremely slow and painful death.

d) Lethal injection. Far too boring. Forget it.

e) Electrocution. To the Americans’ credit, however, they did come up with the electric chair before they moved onto injections. The electrocution method is said to be “highly unpleasant, as the internal organs are burned. Causes involuntary spasms, often involving vomiting, defecation, urination, changing of skin colour, the skin stretching, eyes popping out and even catching fire. Death appears extremely painful”.

Note: The death penalty is discriminatory and often used disproportionately against the poor, the powerless and the marginalized, as well as against people whom repressive governments want to eliminate. The death penalty does not deter crime more than other punishments. In Canada the homicide rate has fallen by 40 per cent since 1975; the death penalty was abolished for murder in 1976.

~> Amnesty International


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