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Southeast Asia: Indonesia Constitutional Court Upholds Death Penalty For Drug Offenses

Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that sentencing drug offenders to death does not violate the constitution. The ruling came in a case lodged by three Australians who face execution for trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.

The three were among the "Bali Nine," a group of Australians busted together. Six were sentenced to death, two got life in prison, and one got 20 years. The ruling will be a blow to them, as well as to the 134 other people on death row in the archipelago, most of them there for drug offenses.

The Australians argued that the Indonesian constitution's clause on the right to life overrode the criminal code's stipulation that serious crimes can be punished by death. The constitutional court disagreed.

The death penalty for drug offenses continues to have strong support among Indonesian government officials, judges and prosecutors, and law enforcement. At least eight people have been executed there since 2000.

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Indonesia Constitutional Court Upholds Death Penalty For Drug O

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