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Jakarta Post

Jump in death sentences highlights ‘hasty’ court cases

  • Galih Gumelar

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 23, 2020   /  03:13 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Former death row inmate Yusman Telaumbanua, 21, shares his experience of being named a suspect, sentenced to death and spending years in prison, during a press conference at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) on Aug. 22, 2018.(The Jakarta Post/Ibrahim Irsyad)

The staggering increase in capital punishment verdicts last year has fueled criticism of Indonesia’s justice system, with activists accusing judges of ignoring basic human rights and underlining the ineffectiveness of the death penalty in reducing crime. As many as 80 death penalties were meted out by Indonesian judges in 2019, a 66 percent increase from 48 such sentences in 2018, according to an annual report by Amnesty International published this week. Sixty of the sentences were handed down for drug-related crimes, while is serious criminal offenses such as terrorism, murder and sexual abuse against children account for the rest. Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) executive director Erasmus Napitupulu said the jump in death sentences was disconcerting, because it seemed that lower court judges were at ease with doling out the most severe kind of punishment. ...