Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australian death-row prisoners Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Firdia Lisnawati, File

Readers weigh in on Bali 9 executions

UPDATE 12.55pm: PARTICIPANTS in an online poll are split over whether the Federal Government should try to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, with just over half saying it should let them die.

Chan and Sukumaran, two members of the Bali 9 who were caught trying to smuggle heroin from Bali to Australia, have been condemned to death by firing squad by the Indonesian courts.

The Australian government has been vocal in its attempts to convince the Indonesians to spare the two, who are reported to have reformed since their arrest in 2005.

Most recently, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said Indonesia should spare the pair in recognition of the assistance given to the nation after the Indian Ocean tsunami and has warned Australians would be unhappy with Indonesia if it executed the men. Foreign Minister Bronwyn Bishop and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull have also individually asked for the Indonesian government to spare Chan and Sukumaran's lives.

However, respondents to the ongoing online poll on this website are more ambivalent about the pair. With more than 200 votes cast in the poll so far, 36% say Chan and Sukumaran knew the risks they were running when they tried to smuggle heroin and should be left to their fate.

Another 15% more strongly endorse the death sentence hanging over the men, saying drug trafficking should be dealt with harshly, no matter where it occurs.

A total 49% of respondents so far want Chan and Sukumaran spared, with 26% saying the death penalty is simply wrong and 21% saying the pair were no longer the same men they were when they were arrested in Bali nearly a decade ago.

Should Australia try to prevent the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran?

This poll ended on 20 February 2015.

Current Results

Yes. The death penalty is wrong


Yes. They're clearly not the same men they were when they were arrested in Bali


No. They knew what they were getting into and what the consequences should be


No. Drug trafficking should be dealt with harshly, no matter where it occurs


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

INITIAL REPORT: AS Tony Abbott spoke out yesterday against the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, so have our Facebook readers shared their opinions on the topic.

Prime Minister Abbott yesterday said Australia would feel "grievously let down" if Indonesia went ahead with executing the two Bali Nine ringleaders.

"Let's not forget that a few years ago when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami Australia sent $1 billion worth of assistance, we sent a contingent of our armed forces to help in Indonesia with humanitarian relief," Mr Abbott said.

It was on Tuesday that Indonesia announced it had delayed the transfer of Chan and Sukumaran to another island prison, giving the men more time with their families.

It is still not known when they are due to be executed.

On The Northern Star's Facebook page, our readers have had their say.

Leanne Loz Albert said: "Nobody should have the right to say when someone should die - No matter what."

Michele Yates agreed: "Remorse, rehabilitation, restitution - three R's unable to be Realized once a person is dead. It's fairly basic for anyone not a Fundamentalist Feudalist Fascist that's the 3 Fs that's Fairly uncalled for," Michele said.

Some, like Danny Desmond, had a different view.

"No one else is to blame but them, and yes people make mistakes, but their mistake causes the deaths of innocent lives," Danny said.

Vicki Lawrence-Shaw said: "If you go to some else's country and commit a crime than suck it up and do their time. If it is punished by death well that's too bad. It was no secret what the punishment was when they decided to smuggle drugs. What about all the people those drugs would have killed and life's they would have ruined."