State Murder is Always Wrong

You made mistakes, but didnt deserve to die. 
Watching the mother of Myuran Sukumaran weeping and pleading for the life of her son on TV last night was heart wrenching. But there was never any real prospect that her pleas or those of our political leaders, human rights Lawyers, or even the United Nations were going to fall on anything other than deaf Indonesian ears. That system is mired in corruption and entrenched and outmoded and ignorant attitudes to drug addiction and use in society, and 19th century beliefs about crime and punishment. Widodo has proven to be a blind inflexible dogmatist, not at all the liberal reformer he promoted himself as. He has become a weak and discredited puppet of the Sukarno legacy. 

Eventually, inevitably the Death Penalty will be abolished as the place grows up, becomes civilised and modern, and perhaps the world wide revulsion at what has just taken place will hasten that development but for now the place is a pariah. 

Capital punishment by any means, for any crime is always wrong in my opinion. If you believe in the sanctity of human life, that killing is wrong and war is wrong and you want it to stop, then you have to stop killing. You just have to stop. Its really very simple.

But as long as you imagine you can find reasons  and circumstances where its OK to kill, and especially if its the State that is finding these reasons, then you are telling everyone that if YOU can find a good reason to kill, then you can. And so, in Indonesia a majority of people support the Death Penalty, whereas here in Australia and so many other countries where the Government has declared that the sanctity of human life is so great that no crime is sufficiently horrible that that sanctity should be violated, a huge majority do not support it. 

Sadly our Governments stance in opposing it in the case of these two Australians exposes a kind of hypocrisy about the moral principle that underpins our legal approach to Capital Punishment. We should have opposed its use for the Bali bombers, we should oppose its use in the USA  where not long ago a botched execution by lethal injection dragged on for an hour, in Saudi Arabia where a few days ago a screaming woman was held down by Police and beheaded in Public, we should oppose it in China even though we want their Trade, we should oppose it in Iran even though we now have some sort of security arrangement with them to identify Australians heading to Iraq and ISIS, we should just oppose it everywhere and under all circumstances because by doing so we are upholding the sanctity of human life and advancing the cause of peace. 

Imagine how different the Kelly Story would have been if Capital Punishment had been abolished in Ned Kellys time. Unless he was a delusional paranoid schizophrenic Ned Kelly would not have believed the Police hunting him in the Wombats ranges might have been planning to kill him. He would not have felt compelled to kill them in self defence. He  could not have been “Outlawed” and turned into a fugitive that anyone could shoot on sight. He would not have been hanged. And that would have been a good thing.

The crowds that gathered to support Ned in Melbourne were there to protest at Capital Punishment. They didnt support him personally, or his lifestyle choices, much as all the people in the candlelight Vigils in support of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were not there to support drug crime but to support their humanity and their families. The Gaunsons were prominent activists in the fight against Capital Punishment and I would have joined them in the streets to plead for Ned Kellys life, I would have signed their Petition to spare him, I would have been saddened and disappointed when those efforts failed, I would have felt for poor Ellen and Neds sisters and family in their  grief, as I do today for Andrew and Myurans.

It took almost 90 more years to have the death Penalty abolished in Australia. I hope it doesn’t take that long in Indonesia.
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35 Replies to “State Murder is Always Wrong”

  1. Couldn't agree more Dee! Well said! Pity Ned got topped, too.

  2. As a punishment to Indonesia, we should send all our politicians there for an indefinate stay.

  3. " Imagine how different the Kelly Story would have been if Capital Punishment had been abolished in Ned Kellys time. Unless he was a delusional paranoid schizophrenic Ned Kelly would not have believed the Police hunting him in the Wombats ranges might have been planning to kill him. "

    What would it matter if it had been abolished then? The police (definitely at least Lonigan) were still quoted as saying they would shoot first and then call surrender at Ned.

    " He would not have felt compelled to kill them in self defence. "

    So now you believe Ned was acting in self defence?

    " I would have joined them in the streets to plead for Ned Kellys life, I would have signed their Petition to spare him, I would have been saddened and disappointed when those efforts failed, I would have felt for poor Ellen and Neds sisters and family in their grief "

    Yeah right! YOU?! YOU of all people.Come on,what goes on here?

    Your personal tirade of hate against Ned Kelly is written here for all to see.Yet you have sympathy for two drug addicts and drug traffickers who knew the consequences and knew exactly what they were doing.Aren't drug traffickers equally guilty of being murderers to the people they supply to? Yet you can sympathise with their story? Really Dee?

    You expect us to believe a word of this laughable garbage you just posted?!

    You have just shown yourself to be the true hypocrite you really are. This is pathetic.

  4. Wal Maddock says: Reply

    President Widodo: "I may not be the smartest person in the world but I am determined…".

    Hope someone has the Firing Squad list, everyone of whom are equally guilty even if they didn't have the three live rounds. Their intention, one and all, was to commit judicial murder. Soldiers committing murder on unarmed civilians. Morally sickening.

    That list leads all the way up the chain of command to the pathetic Attorney-General, then to the President.

    There were unfinished legal appeals, and the President neglected to read special recommendations and reports demonstrating rehabilitation of the condemned men.

    They all need to go to jail.


  5. Anonymous your support of Capital Punishment is whats pathetic – it aligns you with a shrinking minority of people world wide, with largely authoritarian anti-democratic regimes, and leaves you out of step with almost everyone in Australia, the Government of Australia, the UN, human rights groups, etc etc…but its a free country. The nature of the crime is irrelevant – the principle at stake is the sanctity of human life. So yes I would most definitely have opposed Ned Kellys hanging. Nothing hypocritical there!

    And by the way it was not Lonigan or “the Police” but an individual, Strahan, who is reported ( by a Kelly sympathiser I should add) to have said he would shoot first. Lonigan is the one Ned Kelly is supposed to have said he would kill first if he ever shot a man. And when Kelly was captured did "the Police" kill him on the spot? In fact, though one individual wanted to, it was “the Police” who now took care of him, had a Doctor and a Priest visit him, gave him brandy….But facts like these are not what you’re interested in are they?

    Also, if you bothered to read this Blog a little more carefully you would know that last year I wrote about the Self Defence plea and argued that it was plausible.

    Can I suggest you try harder to get your facts right before you Comment again, because all you’re doing with nonsense like your latest one is demonstrate how ignorant you are of the kelly facts, and expose Kelly fanatics to even greater ridicule. Ive noticed how few Kelly fanatics post here these days and I think its because they’ve realised that the Kelly Myth cant be defended. They’re too scared to even Post on their own sites and their Facebook pages because they know I am watching!

  6. Anonymous says: Reply


    Pro-Kelly argument that is rational will be permitted, but abuse and unreasonable comments will be deleted.

  7. HA!

    You are the ignorant one who needs to get their facts straight.I never said I supported capital punishment.I was merely pointing out your (usual) hypocritical comments.YOU are the one who supports and sympathises with drug dealers and smugglers.YOU are the one who changes your supposed whole belief system when it suits you – from trashing Ned Kelly to then saying you would have supported him,then crying over drug traffickers whose actions would have resulted in the deaths of many.

    And no it was not just Strahan who said he would shoot first LONIGAN said it too.Check your facts 'Dee'.

    So you wrote a post saying Ned's self defence claim was 'plausible' oh how gracious of you.I guess it must be true now if you have said what others have been saying since 1878. Get over yourself.

    And who are you trying to convince with your comment that you would have opposed Ned Kelly's hanging,HA! bs you would have.You and your blog are a joke.Your farce is over 'Dee'.

    Oh and by the way,the reason the so called 'Kelly fanatics' don't post here is not because they have nothing to say and certainly not because 'they’ve realised that the Kelly Myth cant be defended', the answer is that they simply do not bother with you and your childish blog.

    Don't flatter yourself that it is anything more.YOU are the laughing stock of the online Kelly world.


  8. Scott Holmen says: Reply

    "YOU are the laughing stock of the online Kelly world".


    You N E V E R provide proof…

  9. Anonymous claims "I never said I supported capital punishment" – so why did you make comments supporting the crazy death threats to Macfarlane on the Iron Outlaw facebook page? Facebook demanded all the comments be removed.

    You are a dangerous fellow.

  10. The Indonesian Officer who superintended those executions said they were done "perfectly". How can executions by soldiers of people tied to wooden planks ever be "perfect"? The soldiers and their officers should all be prosecuted as soon as possible.

    It will be interesting to see how quickly (if ever) the bodies are returned to Sydney, and whether any coronial enquiry here supports the notion the executions were "perfect'. A lingering, prolonged disaster.

  11. I am willing to be corrected about Lonigan but you will need to supply the reference. Somehow I don’t think you will. And if you don’t support capital punishment then please say so and I will apologise. But again somehow I don’t think you will. and if you’re worried about the harm that drugs do to society, the main culprit by a massive country mile is alcohol, but again somehow I don’t think you’ll be wanting to do anything about THAT particular drug, other than posting photos of Beer Promotions on your FB page! Who is the real hypocrite I wonder?

    As for Kelly fanatics not posting here – theyre not posting ANYWHERE – not a single letter to the IO page since last year, nothing on the hate FB page for six weeks, nothing in the secret NKF Forum for months, nothing on the IO FB Page for weeks, – you’re all running scared of me and this Blog because Ive shut you down. But you are no different from the sympathisers of the 1880s who stood around watching as their hero was torn to shreds, and then once he was a goner they went home. Ned didnt need enemies when he had feral 'friends’ like you lot.

  12. Brian McDonald says: Reply

    Tobin Bros – that is a disgusting and sacrilegious thing to say!

    This is the reason, Dee, that I am no longer posting on your blog (but I will continue on other NK sites) because of unbelievable and ridiculous comments made by your followers to degrade and abuse others.

    I tried once to have a sensible conversation with you Dee on one of your previous blogs but was "attacked" by your supposed supporters (with their phoney names) … which is going to happen again with this comment no doubt!

  13. Brian I have deleted that Comment and apologise for not having done so earlier. I dont always make the right judgement call whenever I see Posts that are off topic, but I dont wish to be excessive in my Moderation. One needs to have a thick skin to last in the Kelly world – Ive been called a hypocrite, pathetic, childish and deelusional, told to get over myself and my Post labelled as Laughable Garbage in the last 24 hours! I laugh it off Brian. You know as well as I do that there are idiots on all sides of the debate. I still wish you would Post something on topic – perhpas you could answer this question for me : Do you believe its possible for people who signed the Petition to be opposed to the Death Penalty but not necessarily supporters of Ned?

  14. Anonymous says: Reply

    Absolutely correct Brian

  15. Anonymous says: Reply

    Dee, You are not a member of NKF and after your last comment about the only thing that has gone on there was about bricks was again another lie from you a lot more has gone on and it must make you extremely jealous that they get contacted by people from the county court of Victoria and others, I agree with the other anonymous you are a joke and so is this blog and you have now proved you are a troll by trolling people's Facebook pages who you do not like and don't want anything to do with but go on their pages to try dig up dirt. WHAT A PATHETIC DISGRACEFUL PERSON YOU ARE.

  16. Why don’t you people join the discussion and defend your Hero instead of just calling me names all the time?

  17. LOL! Here you going again dodging the questions.The drug traffickers in Bali weren't smuggling alcohol (which I'm sure you have had plenty of yourself) so don't even go down that pathetic road by trying to justify that alcohol is a 'drug' just like heroin.

    Here's your reference to Lonigan (which I know already that you will dismiss as it doesn't come directly from one of your honest Vic police sources) The Jerilderie Letter where Ned states before Lonigan left Violet Town Oct 1878 he told numerous people 'that if Ned Kelly was to be shot he was the man that would shoot him'. Of course though you will just scoff at this,as you always do if anything is in Ned's favour.Or maybe it could be 'plausible ' to you 'Dee'.

    Also I do NOT support capital punishment,so yes I am waiting for your apology.

    The only person 'running scared' is in your twisted mind.Your ego is incredible.Please do not flatter yourself 'Dee'.Just know that YOU are a deelusional hypocrite.We all know it.We all laugh about it.This blog is completely personal to you isn't it.Your hatred is quite sad really.

  18. To the Anonymous who writes “I do NOT support capital punishment” may I ask for one further clarification? Do you mean by this that you did NOT support the Capital Punishment of Chan and Sukumaran? If that is the case, then I apologise. My mistake was to interpret as support for it comments of yours like this "you have sympathy for two drug addicts and drug traffickers who knew the consequences and knew exactly what they were doing.Aren't drug traffickers equally guilty of being murderers to the people they supply to? Yet you can sympathise with their story? Really Dee?”

    My point about alcohol is simply that if you compare the harm done to society by heroin addiction and the harm done by alcohol abuse in terms of drug fuelled violence and domestic violence, in road deaths due to drunk driving, in lost work hours, illness and deaths from the complications of alcoholism, then alcohol is BY FAR the worse drug. Looking at Ambulance attendances alone , in Victoria, Alcohol was the reason for the majority of drug-related ambulance attendances, with 11,159 attendances in 2012/13 compared to 3,159 for benzodiazepines, 1,901 for heroin. Australia wide deaths from Heroin were 131 in 2005 and around 5000 for alcohol. I do not advocate the abuse of ANY drug, but the hysteria about heroin is absurd.

    In regard to the claim about Lonigan, you’re right he did make that claim in the Jerilderie Letter, and you’re also right that the lies Kelly writes in the Jerilderie Letter undermine my readiness to believe it, unless someone else also said the same thing.

  19. Can we not turn this into another dumb ForumJar clone?

  20. Apology NOT accepted. Deerailed.

  21. Deleted for the same reason as above! LOL!

  22. Not a chance.That is exactly what it is.Trash.

  23. Dee, you have been asked many times to ban Anonymous, who never makes valuable or any contributions to this blog. He is a tiresome bore and serial pest. Please get rid of him.

  24. Mind your own business 'John' you don't contribute anything either.Other than another user name for 'you know who'.

    Anonymous is one of only two real posters on here,the rest are all 'Dee'/you.

  25. Well, as my apology was conditional on you clarifying your position on the executions of Chan and Sukumaran, and you failed to do so, then none was offered.

  26. John, I cant actually Ban anyone from posting as I have no idea who they are. All I can do is moderate Comments once they have been submitted, and remove them if I find them unacceptable. And I don’t have the time to be checking every five minutes!

    But I agree John, we are continually being pestered by an annoying Kelly fanatic who never ever has anything constructive to add to any discussion, has a hate FB page that is supposed to be “unmasking” the Kelly Gang Unmasked book but has given up even attempting to do that long ago and now attacks me, who bullys and attacks other Kelly fanatics if they don’t agree with him, and whose behaviour is tolerated in a disgracefully supine way by all the other Kelly fanatics, some of whom should know better. His fixation on a delusional belief that I am Ian MacFarlane is a fascinating study in itself.

    The Plus side of his comments here is that by preserving some of them, the behaviour of a rabid kelly fanatic is exposed for all to see, and I would expect result in further discredit and loss of interest in the Kelly myth, which is the point of the entire Blog. Who on earth would ever want to be associated with ignorant bullys and morons like that?

  27. And to the NKF defender who says “a lot more has gone on” there – your private members forum has had NO activity for 5 months and three weeks! And its last contributor was the serial Pest and so that wouldn’t have been worth reading anyway. So stop kidding yourself. The truth is the serial Pest is poisoning the entire world of the Kelly Fanatic, and as a result its almost dead. All the Kelly fanatics can manage these days is the occasional “Like” on Facebook. As I said, modern sympathisers are much like the original ones who stood back watching as Ned was being hammered, and then when it was obvious he was doomed, they quietly disappeared. Not a single one was prepared to stick their head up and defend him! Mates indeed!

  28. WOW Dee you are a liar, there has been half a dozen new topics on NKF with one of them being contacted by the county court of Victoria. Maybe their new software update has seen to you not being able to see the new topics and information. Answer the question Dee why are you trolling people's Facebook profiles that you don't like and want nothing to do with to try dig up dirt like a troll?

  29. Well then perhaps you can confirm whether or not there have been posts to the private Members Forum more recently than 5 months and three weeks ago? Certainly thats what the NKF website is telling me. But how can a site that discusses Hummers and Replica Pistols but ignores important new books on Ned Kelly, expels people with different points of view and forbids its members from discussing this Blog be taken seriously? The truth is there is NO place on the Internet apart from here where serious Kelly related issues are being discussed.

    I ask again, why don’t you people join the discussion and defend your Hero instead of just calling me names all the time?

  30. So what if a cleaner at the county court contacted the Ned Kelly Forum?

    NKF has SLV members, but a county court official would be exceedingly foolish to contact NKF — unless anonymously.

    No proof as usual.

  31. Those NKF/SLV members are a worry. They're supposed to be providing the big picture and not Ned-centric excuses. Most library people I know try to present non-propagandist views. Of course, I am being a bit unfair since they have not chimed in on NKF for more than a year. The NKF fellow at the Beechworth courthouse needs to re-examine his presentations too. Otherwise, they start to seem like Neducators…

  32. Dee, I probably should have mentioned this neat little fix to you early on, but I assumed that you already knew about it. You don't have to wait for comments to be added to the blog for you to moderate them. Blogger has it so that you can choose to be alerted via email and your blogspot dashboard when there are new comments awaiting moderation and you can then choose to add or delete them at your leisure. Doing it that way doesn't give all the possums a chance to get so stirred up like they have been lately. This page has how to set it up for your blog – One helpful little hint is to check "no" where it asks for word verification. Those captchas can be a real pain to decipher at times. Only drawback I can think of is if haters on the anti-Ned side are still allowed to keep on with derogatory statements without being able to be challenged. Then, again, if you want to showcase some of the comments that you have allowed to stay, then disregard my suggestion. 🙂

  33. Thanks Sharon I am aware of that option. The reason I have chosen to have it the way it is, is because I personally hate it whenever I post a comment on a news site and have to check back later to see if its published! I think people like the immediacy of having their comment go straight up. The downside is…well we know what the downside is! But a bit of raw passion adds some spice to the mix!

  34. At least there is that option if it gets to the point where it looks like that the haters and naysayers are going to entirely sink the blog. Just like when cooking a little bit of spice goes a long way and a tad too much completely ruins the dish to the point that even the dog won't eat it.

  35. NKF have now hidden their Private Members Forum from Public view rather than admit nothing has happened there for the last six months. They’ve said they are going to hide everything from Public view so I am looking forward to that now. IO has died and NKF has disappeared but Death of the Legend carries on stronger than ever! Who would have thought it possible a year ago?

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