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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Indonesia Moving to Reduce Death Row Population by Increasing Rate of Executions

(6/25/2012) The Bali Post quoted the National Chief Prosecutors office as confirming that prosecutors in Banten (West Java) and Jakarta are making preparations for a suden surge of executions of prisoners now under sentence of death in Indonesia.

A Junior Chief Prosecutor, Hamzah Tadja, (photo) confirmed steps are in play that will soon bring 20 people on death row in the two locales before a firing squad.

The numbers slated for death are 3 in Banten and 17 in Jakarta. While confirming the preparations are ongoing, Hamzah refused to give a time or a place for the coming executions.

“I am not allowed to tell you (the time of the planned executions). Later, when it’s time, you’ll know,” Hamzah explained on Monday, June 25, 2012.

He added that he was unable to provide complete data on the total number of people now sitting on death row across Indonesia, because local prosecutors have yet to file formal reports on the actual number of those under a sentence of death who have exhausted all possible avenues of appeal.

“(But), We have this data from prosecutors in Jakarta and Banten,” he said.

Earlier, Chief Prosecutors had reported that through October 2012 there were 100 people on death row, down from an earlier figure of 116. The decline was due to remission of sentences (7), escapes from prison (6) and death by natural causes (3).

According to prosecutors, from the original 116 on death row nationwide, 58 were convicted of narcotics violations, 55 for premeditated murder and 2 for terrorism. (sic)

Included among those who have exhausted the appeal process and are now close to execution are:

Indonesia has recently formalized the appeal process for those under sentence of death in order to shorten the time between sentencing and actual execution. In the past, the appeal process could consume decades.

The last execution before a firing squad in Indonesia occurred in 2008 when the three Bali bombers were shot.