Australia must vocally oppose the “barbaric and inhumane” execution of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, says a lawyer who represented Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
A US jury on Friday sentenced Tsarnaev to death for the deadly attack, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a “kid” who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.
The decision in America’s most closely watched terrorism trial in decades — which came just over two years after the April 15, 2013, bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 260 — brought relief and grim satisfaction to many in Boston.
Solicitor Veronica Haccou said that, in the hours before the Bali Nine duo were executed last month, she promised she would oppose the death penalty “no matter what the circumstances, because of its barbaric and inhumane nature”.
“Execution must never be tolerated, no matter how terrible the crime,” she said.
“Whatever the justification for the death penalty, it is nothing but premeditated, state-sanctioned murder.”
Ms Haccou said executing murderers was “not justice; it is vengeance”.
Chan and Sukumaran “were good strong men who deserved to live and had something to contribute to society,” she said.
“They have asked me to continue this fight against the death penalty and I will. Nothing ever condones the use of the death penalty. Nothing is ever achieved by such actions.”
The government voiced “strong opposition to the death penalty at home and abroad” while seeking clemency for the condemned heroin smugglers.
“Australia opposes the death penalty. We oppose the death penalty for Australians at home and abroad,” Tony Abbott said on January 8.
“We obviously respect the legal systems of other countries, but where there is an attempt to impose the death penalty on an Australian, we make the strongest possible diplomatic representations.”