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Jakarta Post

Death penalty false cure for ailing Indonesian justice system

Irwantoni (center) who stands trial for his involvement in delivery of 270 kilograms of crystal methampethamine, or sabu-sabu, cries while holding his mother before his hearing begun at the Medan District Court on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. In the verdict hearing, the judges declared him guilty for violating drugs law and sentenced him with death penalty. (Antara/Irsan Mulyadi)
Usman Hamid
PREMIUM
Jakarta   ●   Wed, April 21 2021

Amid ever-deepening political polarization, there is one issue on which the vast majority of Indonesians can apparently find common ground: the death penalty.

A 2015 survey by Indo Barometer found that 84.1 percent of respondents were in favor of capital punishment for persons convicted of drug-related offenses. A 2017 Kompas poll found that a similarly overwhelming 89.3 percent of respondents supported the death penalty for persons convicted of terrorism-related offenses.

Even polls show the death penalty is more popular in Indonesia than democracy (76.2 percent in favor, according to a 2021 Indikator Politik Indonesia survey), vaccines (64.8 percent in favor, according to a November 2020 WHO survey) and the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic is real (79 percent, according to a September 2020 University of Indonesia study).

This popularity is refle...

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