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August 3 2008 | INDONESIA


The father of one of the victims in Bali's attack against the execution of the perpetrators

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Amnesty International

Barrister& Solicitor
15 July 2006

To Whom It May Concern
Dear Sir/Madam,
Re: Execution of those persons convicted in relation to the Bali bombing -- (12th October 2002).
This letter is an appeal to the highest authorities in the Sovereign State of Indonesia to reconsider the penalty to be meted out to the above.
To introduce myself, I am the father of Joshua Kevin Deegan, a beautiful young man, my eldest child, who was a victim of the atrocity.  At the time of his premature death, he was but 22 years of age.  He was both an athlete and an academic.  His future was neither preordained nor measurable. 
He was loved by many and many he loved.
This letter is without doubt the most difficult piece of correspondence into which I have entered. As a father I find it difficult to override, negate and avoid the sin of soliciting revenge but as a lawyer, as a former Judicial Officer serving State of South Australia, I have read about and at times, witnessed significant miscarriages of justice.  My experiences have been sufficient to have caused me to hold to the view that frailties within the legal systems are of such significance and presence, so as to exclude the irreversible penalty of capital punishment.
I oppose the death penalty under any circumstance.  Joshua opposed the death penalty.
It is for these reasons that I am seeking the penalty to be converted to life imprisonment -- without release.
I do not pretend to forgive these men. Whist I do have some understanding of their motives I nonetheless deplore and despise their methods.
I see that no good will come from their execution.  I see only harm.  The cycle of distrust bordering on hatred between Muslims and Christians spins at an ever increasing rate.  These men are at the lower echelon of organised groups, the leaders of which preach hatred and violence.  There are many more men and women ready, willing and able to replace those that have been condemned.  Executing these men will only be seen as an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth.  These men will be seen as martyrs. And so the cycle will continue.
I have three younger children, and I wish for them to enjoy all the fruits of life, free of hatred, free of ignorance, free of bitterness and free of fear.
Nothing will return, my son to me, to his mother, his family and his friends. The execution of a selected few who were responsible for his death and the death and maiming of hundreds more will not cure the pain. But I believe that an exhibition of mercy may have a positive impact on those who are like minded.
I will not beg for their lives to be spared. But I seek that which I consider more appropriate. A penalty which will serve as a constant reminder to others. A penalty which will not destroy the lives of their families. A penalty whereby these men will have time to reflect upon their actions and to come to the realisation that it was wrong and fruitless.
I seek to dis-empower these men. Not to award them martyrdom.
Yours sincerely,
Brian K. Deegan

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