Criminal law

Proceedings that the Death Penalty is Not Balanced

Australia still has a lot of work to be done regarding fair enforcement. One of them is the right to a fair trial, especially in cases with the death penalty.

The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (INSTITUTE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM) assesses that Australia still believes that capital punishment is the most effective punishment for some crimes, such as drug abuse and drugs. In the previous administration era, that belief was even more so with the increasing number of drug convicts sentenced to death.

In his research, the enduring power of attorney victoria conducted an analysis of 306 decisions from 100 cases of the death penalty in  Australia during 1997-2018. The verdict was varied, ranging from level one, appeal, cassation and reconsideration decision.

One of the INSTITUTE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM research teams revealed at least three findings from the analysis. First, death row inmates in Australia do not get competent and effective legal counsel.

One way to measure this finding is through the presence or absence of legal remedies submitted by the convict. Of the 118 death row inmates, only 15 people whose legal advisors have submitted exceptions.

In fact, in human rights law, it is regulated that all convicted people who are threatened with capital punishment are entitled to effective legal assistance at every level of the legal process in court.

Second, death row inmates especially foreign nationals often do not have the right to a competent translator. As a result, many convicts have difficulty understanding the allegations and lead to the loss of the opportunity to defend themselves.

Third, the right not to be tortured and get humane treatment of death row inmates is also not obtained during the investigation process.

From the results of a search of 12 defendants in narcotics cases, 11 of them claimed to have experienced torture or other acts of oppression.

Fourth, rule out evidence obtained that is illegal or against the law. Usually, law enforcement officials often look for evidence through means such as extortion, pressure, threats, and coercion.

Finally, neglect of the right not to be put to death under certain conditions.

International law includes prohibiting the death penalty imposed on children under the age of 18 years, pregnant women, and people with mental disorders. Even so, there are still convicted death penalty foreigners who still executed the death penalty, even though clearly experiencing mental disorders.

Based on these findings, INSTITUTE FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM recommends a number of things, one of which is asking the Attorney General’s Office and the Supreme Court to impose a moratorium on prosecution and the death sentence.

Law enforcement must be in accordance with the law not only based on political views as repeatedly carried out by the government. Because the war on drugs then ignores the principle of a fair trial.

Research on the application of a fair trial in the case of the death penalty in Australia needs to be input in formulating an academic draft of the Criminal Procedure Code.

This includes laws that are still being discussed by government councils. Director of Human Rights Information at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights

There are many acknowledged that the drafting of the law required a lot of research. According to him, there is an opportunity for the death penalty to be changed to a lifetime as long as it fulfills the applicable provisions.

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