LAWYER OF BALI NINE DUO TO FIGHT DEATH SENTENCE OF BOSTON BOMBER
Written on the 18 May 2015
THE lawyer of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran says Australians should vocally oppose the death sentence brought down against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in killing four people and the wounding of hundreds of others in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Lawyer Veronica Haccou, who vowed to Chan and Sukumaran just hours before their executions last month to fight the death penalty no matter what the circumstances, says execution must never be tolerated, no matter how terrible the crime.
"Whatever the justification for the death penalty, it is nothing but premeditated, state-sanctioned murder," Nevin, Lenne & Gross solicitor Haccou says.
"What are we teaching the younger generation by executing people? Killing people is wrong.
"It is so wrong that we kill people to prove our point? That is not justice, it is vengeance. We as a society do not benefit in participating, or being complicit, in such acts of violence."
Haccou, says in the case of the Bali nine duo there had been so many inconsistencies by the Indonesian judicial system that it bordered on the bizarre.
"Such behaviour by the President, who even admitted to failing to read my client's cases before rejecting clemency, is frankly beyond belief, when he knew he was sending them to their deaths," she says.
"He had said previously that 'he shouldn't be expected to read everything'. Well, when it is about human lives that should be the least he could do."
She adds that towards the end, President Widodo kept saying it was no longer his decision, but a matter of law despite his power to grant clemency.
Haccou says reform is possible, even in the case of the Boston Bomber, and mistakes, politics and retribution often played too much of a role in the death penalty being imposed.
"It feels to me like justice is just a game," she says.
"Indonesia kept claiming the right to its sovereignty, yet continues to work hard to save its own citizens on death row abroad, including those on drugs offences."
Haccou says she intends to speak on the subject whenever given the opportunity and saysthe Australian Government must remain consistent with opposition to the penalty in all situations without exception.