Indonesian Court Gives British Grandmother Death for Drugs

An Indonesian court last Tuesday sentenced a British woman to death for trying to smuggle about 10 pounds of cocaine into the resort island of Bali, the anti-death penalty group Hands off Cain reported. Lindsay Sandiford, 56, cried when she heard the sentence, but had no other comment before being led back to jail.

Sandiford had been arrested upon arrival in Bali's international airport in May, when authorities found 4.8 kilograms of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase. She told authorities a criminal gang had threatened her and her children if she didn't transport the drugs, which had a street value of $2.5 million.

The practice of imposing the death penalty for drug offenses is frowned upon by the UN, which considers it a human rights violation. That stance is even embraced by th UN Office on Drugs and Crime. "UNODC advocates the abolition of the death penalty and calls upon Member States to follow international standards concerning prohibition of the death penalty for offenses of a drug-related or purely economic nature," the international agency said in 2010 report (see page eight).

While Indonesia has notoriously harsh drug laws -- it is among the nations listed by Harm Reduction International's Death Penalty Project as both having and using the death penalty for drug offenses -- Sandiford's sentence was harsher than expected.

Two other Britons charged in the case received lesser sentences (a fourth awaits sentencing), and prosecutors had recommended only 15 years in prison, but judges at the Denpasar District Court said there was no reason for a light sentence. She had damaged Bali's reputation as a tourist destination, they said.

Sandiford joins an estimated 114 other prisoners on Indonesia's death row, most of them convicted of drug offenses. At least 40 death row inmates are foreigners, including several Australians.

Since 1998, five foreigners have been executed in Indonesia, all for drug offenses. The good news is that Indonesia hasn't actually executed anyone since 2008, when 10 people went to the gallows.

Indonesia
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HardcoreEnigma's picture

Seriously?

I'm sorry Bali, but you just screwed your own reputation! You don't kill the tourists, especially not over a small thing like drug possession. YOU DON'T DESERVE TOURISTS! BOYCOTT BALI!

Vacationers

The resort island of Bali . British and American vacationers don`t spend $5k or $10k  to spend a week at Bali " sober ".  A bit of alcohol , a bit of bud and a bit of blow . What`s the big deal , we`re on vacation . We`re spending money .  Sounds to me like someone didn`t get paid or it was a setup .

Too much blow

I think the reason was that this was just too much blow.Not that that is any reason to sentence anyone to death.Maybe the right people weren't pieced off and this is a message to anyone else that you pay us now or you pay later?

The President of the United

The President of the United States in an interview even stated no one is serving time just for using marijuana. Mary J.

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