Scott Rush’s blood is partly on our hands

I agree with Terry Wright that this is appalling:

Indonesian prosecutors in the Scott Rush case have finally gone too far. Their fanatical insistence on sending Scott Rush to his death, is so inhumane, so completely unreasonable and so cruel that I am almost lost for words.

There’s very little that we as Australian citizens can do about Indonesia’s barbarous approach to criminal justice – the death penalty is bad enough, but applying it to non-violent crimes is obscene, let alone to offenders at the very bottom of the ladder – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make noise. And in this case there’s a very clear point to be made, locally, because it was our police, the police representing us, the Australian community, who handed Mr Rush over to the Indonesians to be subject to this perversion of justice.

And there is something we can usefully agitate for (or, more precisely, against) there. The Commonwealth Government should make it clear to Indonesia that it will not co-operate with them (or any nation with a similar approach) on drug-related matters while they apply the death penalty. Full stop. I don’t think we should co-operate with them while they impose extreme terms of imprisonment, either – that 20 years for Corby for cannabis importation is ridiculous – but at the very least, the death penalty is something that is opposed by all (or almost all) our representatives in parliament. Its agents, the AFP, should not be involved with something so contrary to our democratically-expressed values.

And it is worth making noise about this. If we don’t, we’re complicit when the next AFP investigation hands some poor stupid young Australian over for this brutality. We might not be able to save Scott Rush, but we can certainly demand assurances that we won’t be party to such a travesty again.

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20 responses to “Scott Rush’s blood is partly on our hands

  1. jordanrastrick

    Geography dictates that we’re not likely to end our co-operation with Indonesia on the enforcement of drug policy anytime soon.

    Unless, of course, there could be a shift in public attitude and hence government policy that ended the whole misguided war on drugs.

  2. “There’s very little that we as Australian citizens can do about Indonesia’s barbarous approach to criminal justice ”

    We can never holiday there, which is my intention, as discussed here the other day I (and) others try to avoid spending money in nations that have the death penalty…

    Indonesia doesn’t appeal to me as a holiday destination anyway, the US does but I won’t go, same with china.. Fuck ’em!

    “t was our police, the police representing us, the Australian community, who handed Mr Rush over to the Indonesians to be subject to this perversion of justice.”

    And it makes me sick. I reckon keelty is feeling a bit sick too, I hope so, I hope he’s racked with guilt.

  3. Seriously, how does Keelty sleep at night knowing what he has done in this case? It makes my blood boil. The AFP virtually signed Rush’s death warrant. It just boggles the mind that they would put him in like that.

  4. Could his family sue the AFP or the individual police involved for knowingly putting him in harm’s way (when they could have just as easily picked them up back in Australia)?

    If he does die, it’d be more appropriate to see them charged with conspiracy to murder (not for the conviction, just as a warning to other officers) but obviously nothing will be done criminally.

  5. They tried suing the AFP. They were unsuccessful.

  6. jordanrastrick

    If he does die, it’d be more appropriate to see them charged with conspiracy to murder (not for the conviction, just as a warning to other officers) but obviously nothing will be done criminally.

    The death penalty is barbaric, but when imposed by anything resembling due legal process, it is not murder in any well-defined sense. The fact that the families could not even successfully sue the AFP in a civil case shows how futile the idea of trying to bring a criminal charge in an Australian court would be.

    The issue needs to be solved with diplomatic and political leadership, not by our judiciary. Our law enforcement agencies should be bound by legislation to only collaborate with their overseas counterparts where a treaty is in place, guaranteeing that any Australian citizen convicted as a result of joint operations will suffer at most the maximum possible sentence for their offence applicable under Australian law.

  7. “The death penalty is barbaric, but when imposed by anything resembling due legal process, it is not murder in any well-defined sense.”

    Yes it is, in fact iirc the coroner returns a verdict of ‘homicide’ on those executed by the state.

    “The fact that the families could not even successfully sue the AFP in a civil case shows how futile the idea of trying to bring a criminal charge in an Australian court would be.”

    So! Doesn’t make it right, execution is repugnant and barbaric, any decent, reasonable person realises this. That we can’t successfully sue the AFP doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to. Justice isn’t always served.

  8. “Yes it is, in fact iirc the coroner returns a verdict of ‘homicide’ on those executed by the state.”

    Should read

    “Yes it is, in fact iirc the coroner (in the state of Texas at least) returns a verdict of ‘homicide’ on those executed by the state. Now the coroner returns no such verdict in Australia because our state doesn’t execute people…

  9. Same for Utah – sate execution—– verdict —-> homicide

  10. jordanrastrick

    RobJ, homicide /= murder. To take for example the first paragraph of wikipedia:

    Murder, as defined in common law countries, is the unlawful killing of another human being with “malice aforethought”, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide (such as manslaughter).

    Homicide is essentially the killing of one human by another. It may be perfectly lawful – execution by the state, self defence, soldiers in a battle zone. Even unlawful homicide is not necessarily murder, as the manslaughter example clearly demonstrates.

    The distinction is important; as the law stands, no Australian court would dispute the legality of Indonesia executing someone, even though the death penalty is not sanctioned by our own criminal justice system. If Scott Rush is executed, it will be an act of injustice, but not illegal under Indonesian, Australian, or International law.

  11. Then wouldn’t the verdict be ‘legal homicide’? Though I’m happy to be corrected.. Anyway my point still stands, it’s repugnant and barbaric and the AFP had a hand in it.

    Malice aforethought:

    Malice aforethought is not a precisely defined legal term and is sometimes erroneously referred to as the mens rea element of murder. This is not correct. In English law the mens rea requirement of murder is an intention to commit an act (or omission) and that there is a “high degree of probability” that such act or omission will result in the death or serious injury of another person (see R v Walker & Hayles [1990]).

    To varying extents in the United States, the requisite intention can also be found where the perpetrator acts with gross recklessness showing lack of care for human life, commonly referred to as “depraved heart murder”…………………………

    Rush is a drug mule, I consider the killing of somebody so low down the chain as murder. So legally/technically I’d be wrong, big deal, morally I’m right… I agree with Terry Wright.

  12. “Then wouldn’t the verdict be ‘legal homicide’?”

    Sorry, i meant ‘justifiable homicide’

  13. jordanrastrick

    “This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.”

    Courts decide questions of law. If the law leads to injustice, then, as I’ve suggested, it is the law that needs changing. This is the job of politicians, not judges.

  14. Fair call jordanrastrick, I reckon this is why Jeremy suggests that we should protest (we being the commonwealth). I’d love to tell the major parties I’m not voting for them because…..(insert reason) but I used that one up a long time ago and never ever voted for a major party 😦

  15. Of course, if heroin was legal in Australia, the whole bloody debacle wouldn’t have happened, would it?

  16. Heroin should be legal, all drugs should be in my opinion, I don’t see how it would have changed anything for Scott Rush though, it still would have been illegal to traffic Heroin in Indonesia and our police cooperate with their police, even when they want to kill Australian kids, it’s a disgrace.

  17. jordanrastrick

    If heroin were legal, it is highly unlikely our police would have been involved with the affair; pragmatically there would be no need for mutual co-operation to enforce anti-drug smuggling laws, and culturally and indeed I’m guessing legally, the AFP would have been restrained from taking action. Do our police help the Saudis catch adulterers, or Cuba catch dissidents?

  18. If heroin were legal trafficking probably would still be illegal, like alcohol, there’s duty to be paid and a licence is required to sell it. Of course if heroin were legal in Australia then there would be no need to smuggle it into Australia.. Doesn’t mean that Australians wouldn’t be involved in drug trafficking overseas. I doubt Scott Rush would be in his current predicament.

  19. It sickens me that Australian authorities sold this man’s life. At the very least the death penalty should have been taken off the table before the information was shared.

    Rush could’ve been tried in Australia and would’ve received a heavy prison term. We won’t extradite people overseas unless the death penalty is taken off the table but yet we’ll sell out Australian citizens to countries that have the death penalty. This makes no sense.

    I agree 100% with buns. How does Mick Keely sleep at night? I hope he doesn’t, ever.

  20. I meant Mick Keelty, obviously.

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