Does the death penalty reduce drug use and drug related crime? Data from Indonesia
One year after the executions carried out by Indonesia on 29 April 2015, PKNI and LBH Masyarakat examined the drug situation in Indonesia. The executions were undertaken in the name of a “drug emergency” to achieve the so-called “drug-free Indonesia.” The executions were also carried out to deter and reduce the rate of drug-related crime. Is this justification plausible? After examining the data collected from the National Narcotic Board (BNN) and the Directorate General for Correctional Facilities, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, it can be seen that executions are not proven to decrease drug crimes.
In 2008, Indonesia executed two drug convicts from Nigeria. Since 2008, however, drug crimes have not fallen. The number of people convicted of drug offences throughout 2015 increased. Likewise, the number of people who use drugs has increased since 2011 until 2015. In 2011, there were 3.6 million people who use drugs and in 2015, the number rose to 5.9 million (representing a 64% increase) As the data shows, executing people has failed to curb drug offences. It is time for Indonesia's drug policies to be guided by evidence and science, instead of ideology or moral judgment.
Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.
Thumbnail: Flickr Charles Wiriawan