Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A father's loyalty and devotion...

From here

… papers presented to the Federal Court in Darwin claim the father of one of the accused, 19-year-old Scott Rush, had told Australian Federal Police of his son’s intentions before he entered Indonesia in a bid to prevent his involvement in a crime punishable by death.

The papers follow widespread criticism of Australian help provided for an investigation of a crime likely to involve execution, in contravention of official Australian policy.

Indonesian prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty for all nine accused.

They say evidence not only links them all to the alleged heroin shipment, but also ties several to two earlier smuggling conspiracies through Bali.

In the papers handed to the Federal Court, Lee Rush claims police gave assurances through his lawyer that Scott would be warned he was under surveillance.

The papers say that despite these assurances, no approach was made to Scott Rush before he flew to Bali.

Rush and another alleged mule, Renae Lawrence, 27, are suing the AFP for the denial of judicial fairness and for what they allege was its illegal conduct in providing assistance to the Indonesian police.

The Government has consistently defended the AFP’s involvement.

In a statement, the AFP said it had acted appropriately at all times and in accordance with policy.

Brisbane’s Courier-Mail said [Indonesian] police evidence would also claim Chan, Sukumaran and Lawrence had smuggled an earlier shipment of heroin to Sydney in October last year, and Chan, Lawrence, Norman and another five people had planned, then aborted, a further shipment in December.

Well now, it has to be said.

Goodonyer Dad, for trying to save your son’s hide. No one can blame you for that. How much notice did you honestly expect that he would take? And honestly, was that why you told the AFP what your son was up to? In the hope that they might stop him from leaving town? And the next time after that?

In fact I can even feel sorry for you. There is a good probability that you will lose your son to the judicial processes of another country. I have no doubt that you would have told him time and again of the risks he was taking, and of the possible consequences.

I can understand and appreciate the grief that losing your son will cause.

It has to be said.

Dad, what about the people who bought his drugs? Is it sufficient to rationalise his activities as “supplying a commercial demand”? Is it sufficient to dismiss his part in what seems to be a large and highly active illegal importation business as “of little consequence”? After all, he did not start his customers on the road to heroine addiction, did he? All your son was doing was providing them with what they needed. They were just the druggies, the marks, the punters and scores.

It has to be said.

How many of them died, Dad?


Dave Justus said...

What if none of them died? That is entirely possible, only a small proportion of those who take any given drug die of it (if everyone did, drugs would be much less popular.)

Of course even if some died, does that mean that the death penelty is appropriate for the crime committed? At least some of the responsibily for the death seems to be firmly in the hands of those who took the drug. I would say that most of the responsibility for the death would be there. Unless Scott Rush forced people to take his drugs at gun point, the choice was theirs.

There is also of course the fact that a cold turkey withdrawal from heroine can be fatal, is in fact quite likely to be fatal. What if he saved a life by selling drugs? Does that matter?

The probligo said...

Dave, do you truly believe your rationalisation of this?

Do you truly believe that trading in products that are illegal - such as hard drugs - should in fact be legalised?

The maximum penalty for drug trafficking in Indonesia is death.

The maximum penalty for murder in the US is death. Should I escape the death sentence if I were to travel to the US with the intent of murdering someone - say, my wife? Would it (should it) be different if I killed a US citizen?

Do you believe that the AFP should have intervened to prevent the crime (drug smuggling) from being committed in another country or not?

Personally, the guy was warned (at least by his parents) and deserves every single lump he cops out of this. The law in Indonesia leads to a death penalty - he should know that as part of the risk. Good job.

Dave Justus said...

I don't think that the death penalty is appropriate for selling drugs.

I don't think it would be appropriate in the U.S. I don't think it would be appropriate in New Zealand and I don't think it is appropriate in Indonesia.

You seem happy that he is being killed because he is a drug dealer. I am not happy about that.

I am for some legalization of drugs, but I am unsure if that should apply to all drugs or not. However, that doesn't really enter into this particular question. I think a society does have a right to choose whether to legalize this sort of thing or not. If they choose for it to be legal there are a range of penalties that would be appropriate to punish those who break the law. The Death Penalty is not in that range for this crime.

I don't have any opinion on whether the AFP should have intervened or not. They certainly had no responsibility to do so.

You seem to feel that if something is legal (death penalty for drug trafficing in Indonesia) it is also moral, I strongly disagree with that premise.

There was a splash in the news recently about gays being executed in Iran for being gay. Based upon your logic I presume you approve of that, since the maximum penalty for being gay in Iran is death and presumably these men knew that and were warned. Obviously they deserve every lump. That is just part of the risk.