Death penalty for pot

An Indonesian man was sentenced to death for possession of marijuana by the Sumatra High Court in December 2001. Kiagus Zainal Abidinagainst, accused of possessing over 50 kilos of pot, had appealed an 18 year prison sentence imposed by a lower court. The four judges of the higher court unanimously agreed to increase his sentence to execution.
“We can only imagine how many youngsters would have been affected by the substance were it to be sold; the defendant deserves the death penalty in consideration of his violation,” said Judge Harifin Tumpa.

Indonesian law requires a mandatory 15 years in prison for trafficking in any illegal drug, but this is the first time a marijuana offender has been given the death penalty.

Kiagus’ lawyer said he was shocked by the High Court’s decision, and that he would appeal it to the Supreme Court.

From September 2000 to December 2001, 14 death sentences have been handed out to drug traffickers. 11 of those were to foreigners attempting to smuggle drugs into Indonesia ? the worst offender had 3.8 kilos of heroin.