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May Old Acquaintance Be Forgot

Indonesia Announces Firing Squads to Recommence in 2013 with 10 Prisoners Slated for Execution

(1/6/2013) After a pause of four years, Indonesia has announced plans to resume execution by putting 10 convicted felons before the firing squads in 2013.

The Jakarta Globe reports that 113 people were sentenced to death in 2012 and are now undergoing a mandatory appeal and review process that once exhausted will send a new crop of prisoners to linger on death row.

The 2012 crop of 113 people sentenced to death is comprised of 60 murderers, 51 narcotics violators and 2 terrorists.

The announcement to resume State-sanctioned killings comes at a time when Indonesia appears to be losing its appetite for the death sentence. Even President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has softened his stance on the use of the ultimate punishment available to the State, tempered, in part, by Indonesia’s appeals to foreign governments to reprieve Indonesians facsing death sentences overseas.

Yudhoyono, breaking a personal pledge to show no mercy to narcotic violators, commuted the death sentence of Marika Franola to life imprisonment in 2012. In making that decision, the President commented, 

“We must not wrongly punish people.”

Following that commutation, Franola was caught by prison authorities operating a drug ring from behind prison walls, causing the President's decision of mercy to suffer public ridicule.

Plans by the Attorney General to execute prisoners in 2012 were delayed by bureaucratic complications. But, Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes, Mahfud Mannan, told the press, “We’re targeting to execute 10 people next year.”

No one knows who are the 10 people slated to be executed in 2013, but various press reports say the two Australians members of the "Bali Nine" now facing the death penalty at Bali’s Kerobokan prison are not among those to be shot in 2013.

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