Referring to statements made by lawmakers, officials and anti-graft activists, calling for the implementation of the death penalty for corruption criminals, I cannot wait for this law to come off the ground.
However, no difference should be made where corruption is concerned on whether the culprit is a small or big fish. Those who commit this crime should face the consequence of the death sentence.
Majority of Indonesians may support this sentence because they are tired of the lengthy court procedures when dealing with corruption criminals. Some king-size corruption criminals only serve a two to five-year prison term.
The death sentence should apply to all corruption criminals because this will deter individuals from engaging in graft in the future. China is quite rigid where corruption is concerned. They immediately issue capital punishment to corruption criminals.
Since it is quite easy to escape from Indonesian prisons because criminals bribe prison officials, it seems more appropriate to issue the death sentence in Indonesia.
With due respect to Legislator Gayus Lumbun's statement that capital punishment should be restricted only to individuals who steal or embezzle money intended for people suffering from natural disasters or money which should have gone to the poor, his statement will only encourage individuals to steal from banks and other institutions since they believe that they will only face a few years in prison.
House speaker Agung Laksono is right, capital punishment should apply to all graft convicts as only this will deter corruption. SBY should not only encourage public discussions with regard to capital punishment but he should push for this law to immediately take effect.
LYNNA VAN DER ZEE OEHMKE
Bogor, West Java