Bali 9, Drug Smugglers and Capital Punishment

The other day at work I have been listening to SKY News repeating over and over the same bit of news: “The last hope for two Australian drug smugglers on death row in Bali has been dashed”. After hearing this for what must’ve been a twentieth time, I found myself arguing with the TV.

Do the crime, do the time

Do the crime, do the time

I argued that I fail to understand why Australia is so keen on having those drug smugglers pardoned. They went to a foreign country. Country known to have a very strict anti-drug laws. They have been found guilty of their crime in that country’s court. How dare we interfere in an independent country’s internal affairs, or presume that our legal system is superior to theirs?

SKY dragged out some chick from the Amnesty International, who went on and on about how Capital Punishment should be abolished everywhere on Earth. Great idea in theory, a noble one. Really stupid in practice. For once, there is no AI chapter in Indonesia, so how can they possibly know and judge the laws, customs and values of that country? Secondly, I am a bit sceptical about an organisation that acts all-righteous and screams from its website that they do not accept government funding, yet they accept hundreds of millions of dollars from various governments around the world.

But going back to the drug lords, or drug mules or drug-whatever-they-called-today, the bottom line is really very clear.

I’ve always thought that there is a certain hierarchy in heinosity of various crimes.

The worst of the lot, the absolute scum of the Earth are pedofiles, closely followed by rapists and any other sex offenders. Ranking next on a criminal ladder are all the people making money on drugs. Drug growers, drug traffickers, drug dealers, drug anything…

Drugs destroy lives

Drugs destroy lives

So I guess what I’m saying is that the world would be a better place without those trying to poison our society and the only involvement from the media should be live broadcast of the sentencing and execution, with the hope that it will stop another dumb, down on luck kid from ever touching that shit.

Now I’m gonna go and argue with the TV a bit more….

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Becoming a Lucky Country

A couple of days ago I read an article about a Sydney woman being attacked on a busy street, with not one of the dozens of bystanders coming to her rescue. Luckily for her, the attackers changed their minds when she started shouting and screaming for help.

That got me thinking….why? Why all those people ignored woman’s cry for help? What happened to the notion of helping a “Damsel in distress”? As I was thinking about it, it occurred to me that there is no one simple answer to it. Rather, it is a combination of different ways in which we, as society failed ourselves.

The most obvious reason for people’s non involvement is the most basic of the feelings – fear. Not everyone can be a hero, not everyone is mentally prepared to face off with a car full of aggressive males. However, this is only true if you are alone. There were people in groups, able to match “body for body” the attackers.

I think the next 2 reasons are related to inadequacy of our legal system and the way we are bringing up our youth.

First let me explain my view on the legal side of things…

Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan

In Australia, the law is not geared towards protecting a Good Samaritan or encouraging a person to act as one.  NSW Civil Liability Act 2002 No 22 states that a good samaritan can be liable if he/she “failed to exercise reasonable care and skill in connection with the act…” What it really says is that you can pretend to be a Superman, or a Wonder Woman, only to have the dubious pleasure of being stabbed, or shot at, AND then being sued by the villain, or even the very victim you were trying to protect.

Further, Australia lags behind in introducing a law which would make it a legal requirement for citizens to assist people in distress. There are dozens of countries that have this law in place, some of them are Brazil, Denmark, Greece, Israel, Russia and Spain.

Which brings me to the second reason – the way we educate our young generation.

We are way too accepting, way too tolerant, even when acceptance and tolerance becoming synonyms for apathy and desertion. Our political correctness is going to cost us dearly.

King Hit - Coward Hit

King Hit – Coward Hit

Take recent attack at Canberra night club, which left its victim with a fracture to his eye socket, a fractured cheekbone, and bleeding from his forehead, nose, and lips. His attacker? Sentenced to eight months in jail, fully suspended. Suspended? How about showing that we are serious and locking the bastard up for 2-3 years, making sure he works his ass off?

Or how about our attitude towards drugs? Melbourne drug addicts might be in luck. Needle vending machines could be rolled out in Victoria this year. Because you know, those poor addicts, they need to do drugs outside of business hours too. How about showing that we are serious and locking them up until they are clean, making sure they work their asses off?

Now let’s move onto politics… MP Geoff Shaw investigated over claims he rorted taxpayer entitlements. MP Scott Driscoll  under fire over family business dealings. Former NSW MP Joe Tripodi faces ICAC investigation. Keilor MP George Seitz was under scrutiny as fraud squad investigates allegations that he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in gambling money. Those are the people who suppose to be our leaders and decision makers?

How possibly can our young understand what’s right and what’s wrong, if we keep sending them these mixed messages?

Now, I am not a whinger, but….why don’t we call things what they are: a bully, a corrupt politician (tautology?), a drug addict, a criminal. Maybe then our children will have at least a small chance to be able to tell right from wrong and maybe, just maybe we will be able to live in a country that once again will deserve the title of the Lucky Country.

Busting a Worldwide web of child sex abusers

348 people arrested, 386 children removed from harm, 350,000 images and over 9,000 videos of child sexual abuse found, the website earning over $4 million a year shut down – all this as a result of a major investigation that ran for 3 years and spread to 50 nations.

The figures above came to the world’s attention after the string of arrests performed by various law enforcement agencies around the globe. It all started with investigation into a child pornography website lead by Canada.

Police conducts search.

Police conducts search. Photo – abc.net.au

While paedophilia is a deplorable crime in itself, what I found especially appalling is professions of people arrested on paedophilia/child pornography related charges. Among those arrested were 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, 32 people who volunteered with children, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors or priests, and three foster parents. All these people are the very same who supposedly would be the most obvious choices for a child to turn to when looking for protection.

Arresting all these people is an achievement the Police services all over the world can be really proud of. However, the question now is – what will happen to those who got arrested and later (hopefully) convicted? Will they get a significant jail time, or will they just get a slap on a wrist and be out on a street in a couple of years, ready to do it again, only with more cunning and more devious ways to lure the victims and avoid being caught?

Police conducts search.

Police crackdown on child pornography
Photo – abc.net.au

What’s equally important, how can we make sure that these people do not re-offend? In Australia, we do not have an official registry of known sex offenders. And when people like Darryn Hinch speak up, they are the once who end up in trouble with the law.

I think it’s long overdue for us to stop relying on individuals like Hinch and on NGO’s like Movement Against Kindred Offenders and start applying pressure on State and Federal governments to enforce stricter penalties for sex offenders and a central data base of all known sex offenders.

Bikie Wars, Sex Offenders and Selective Law

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past week or so, you’ve heard about these two bits of news. One is about Victorian Police flexing some muscle in an attempt to tone down bikie related crimes. The second one is about the Human Headline, about the one guy in a media who’s got the guts, the balls, the chutzpah to tell it like it is, without a fear of losing his job, or getting in front of a judge. I am talking, of course about Darryn Hinch.

Derryn Hinch - The Human Headline

Derryn Hinch – The Human Headline

So what is Hinch’s crime? His crime this time, just like it has been in a previous half a dozen run-ins with the law is very simple. He names names. Names of people (and I use this term very loosely) convicted of sex related offences. People convicted of murder. People associated with organized crime.

His punishments vary from being jailed for 12 days and fined $10,000 to 5 months home detention, to receiving a death threat from one of the most notorious underworld figures. All this for caring about people of Australia. Caring enough to put his own career/health/wellbeing on a line.

Police operation against bikie gangs in Melbourne

Police operation against bikie gangs in Melbourne

Now let’s have a look at the Police conducting coordinated raids against bikie gangs. Police are there to protect us, so if this operation resulted in some weapons being taken off the streets, I say boys and girls in blue have done great job. However, I find the way media handled it questionable, to say the least. Faces of couple of the arrested men were visible to the camera, their names were named. Yet, not one of them has been convicted at a time of the news segment going to air. Last time I checked, in Australia we are following the principal of presumption of innocence. What it means is that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

So the question is – why is it that Derryn Hinch is being punished for making public the names of people already convicted of their offences, but our big media – Channel 7, 10, ABC, CNN, Fox, and some other news sources make names of people suspected of a crime known to the whole world, without any fear of getting in trouble with Australian court system?

Now, I am not a whinger, BUT…. a little consistency from our legal eagles would be nice.