Constitutional Court Upholds Death Penalty

By webadmin on 11:39 am Jul 19, 2012
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Jakarta Globe

* This article has been corrected from a previous version.

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday turned down a request by two death row inmates to review a criminal code they were convicted under which sentenced them to death.

“The court . . . rejects the entire request of the applicants,” presiding judge Ahmad Sodiki said on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara.

Ahmad said the request, which sought to abolish an article on robbery that carried a maximum death penalty sentence, had no legal platform.

Article 354 and sub article 4 of the Criminal Code states that a group of two or more people who together cause severe injury or death to a victim through theft can be sentenced to 20 years in prison, life or the death penalty.

The judicial review was filed by death row prisoners Raja Syahrial and Raja Fadli. Both of them were convicted by a Pekanbaru High Court for murder during a robbery.

Justice Fadlil Sumadi called robbery and murder “the most serious crime” that creates fear among public.

“The Death sanction on robbery is not the only punishment, but an alternative to life or twenty years,” Fadil said, adding that
judges could choose the sanction in accordance with the level of the crime.

Indonesia is one of 66 countries that still implements the death penalty. Although Indonesia ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2005, it has not adopted the second optional protocol aimed at the abolition of the death penalty, despite international pressure.