Women, Drugs, and Lead

This will be the last post for the semester.  As a result, be sure to turn your blog entries into the appropriate dropbox by next Monday.

Todays’ ARTICLE invovles a British woman on trial for drug trafficking in Thailand.  This by itself isn’t necessarily that interesting; however, her possible punishement of death by a firing squad is.

Yes, you heard right.  This woman, if found guilty, could be sentenced to death by firing squad for bringing a little over 1lb of heroin into Thailand.  A couple thoughts come to mind regarding this article:

I guess Thailand’s justice system doesn’t prescribe to the idea of retribution, do they (Retribution is the idea that one’s punishment should be proportional to the crime committed)?  Now, I don’t believe bringing in an illegal drug into a foreign country is a good idea; however, is it proportional? This leads me to my second thought: what do they do with individuals who are convicted of murdering another human being (it doesn’t seem like there will be any worst punishments remaining).

What are your thoughts?

18 responses to “Women, Drugs, and Lead”

  1. Sara Lind says:

    Clearly this is not in proportion to the crime committed. This is probably used more for a deterrence because after researching a little bit I found that the country has been experiencing “an alarming increase in organized crime, in particular trafficking in narcotics and illicit goods as a multi-sector economic crime, calling for immediate and urgent measures.” – http://www.unicri.it/news/0904-1_lao/index.php
    Still, this type of punishment for drug trafficking is rather troublesome. In the U.S., there is no doubt that it would be violation of the 8th. Also, the conditions Samantha Orobator is facing seem to be quite severe… it was hinted that she was raped…. I hope for her sake the British government can make more of an attempt to prevent her execution and make some kind of bargain for her to return home. Also, the legal training there does not seem up to par with developed nations. Hopefully, as the website above provided,the UNICRI can improve the country’s legal system. “Legal education is the foundation for developing good governance and rule of law. Understanding contemporary crime trends derives from a good knowledge of contemporary global crime dynamics and targets: this can be considered the precondition to establish a judiciary responding to international standards and critical needs.”

  2. Anna Wasmund says:

    WOW…I gotta say, they probably have a low rate of crime or drugs in thailand.

    How can drug trafficking and being shot by a firing squad be justifiable retribution!?!

    However, this probably isnt the first time nor the only example so the woman should have been wiser than what she did.

  3. Ashley says:

    Wow. this punishment is not even remotely close to the crime. The old saying is if you commit the crime you gotta do the time…but being killed for bringing in 1lb..honestly? Obviously drug trafficking is nothing to be taken lightly but i think this is a little too far fetched. I have no idea what they would do to a person who committed murder- and i dont know if i would want to know! this is just nuts

  4. Andrea Nelson says:

    I agree that the punishment should fit the crime committed, and to me death by a firing squad is not the same as bring 1lb of drugs into a country. I’m not saying that what she did was the best choice to make, but I don’t think she should be killed because of it. I agree with Anna when she said “they probably have a low rate of crime or drugs in Thailand” especially if people are aware of the consequences upon committing a crime there.

  5. Loy Vang says:

    I totally agree with Andrea. If their retribution is death on a little piece of drug…I do wonder what is the next punishment for murder or rape in their system of justice. Maybe they do have a low rate in crimes or drugs but what happens to people who goes beyond that? Do they recieve a lesser punishment? Idk. Either way, I think that their way of doing justice is disproportionate to the crimes that they are committing, especially in this case.

  6. Betsy Beck says:

    This article caught me completely off guard. It seems very severe that this is the how the Thailand government plans to handle this situation. Obviously taking drugs into another country isn’t the best idea, but at the same time there are far worse things she could have done. I feel as if they are trying to make an example out of her, and death by firing squad seems outrageous. This is a story that I plan on following. Hopefully it won’t turn out how it is meant to right now.

  7. Jay Stokes says:

    I agree with Sara.

    It is most likely a deterrent. Has anyone seen the movie swordfish? Ok so, in swordfish, Travolta explains how if terrorists attack the US, we should retaliate not with retribution but retribution times 10. In other words, if they blow up a school, we nuke an entire city. basically, peace is achieved because terrorists would be too afraid. HOWEVER, what about suicide bombers? what about terrorists who dont have a base of operations? or a specific country?

    Overall, everyone needs to focus on the root of the problems NOT the surface results. in other words, why was she bringing drugs into the country? what is the social problem behind it?? maybe imprison her for a while, then work on fixing the real issue.

  8. Jacob Johnson says:

    I actually just read an article on cnn.com this morning that said she would not be put to death by firing squad. I was really shocked when I first heard this. I guess they are willing to set an example in order to scare others from bringing these drugs into the country. Their justice system is obviously a flawed one if they are willing questioning whether a pregnant woman should be put to death or not for a crime of this nature. I was wondering the same thing. What do they do to someone who is convicted of murder; Maybe a more brutal death? I am shocked at the consequences of crimes abroad. China breaks a glass rod off in the urethra of a man convicted of rape. While these are criminals who have committed heinous crimes, I still wonder who dreams up these punishments. I would like to see if punishments of this sort lower the crime rate of a given type significantly. If it does, maybe the United States government needs to look into this. Perhaps it would save the taxpayers a great deal in money used towards incarceration.

  9. rachel woodford says:

    to think that someone will be killed over an issue such as bringing in a 1 lb bag of drugs is out of this world, they are maybe trying to use the scare tactic in their judicial system, maybe even if she was bringing suitcases full she should not recieve the punishment they are saying, the country obviously does not want this kind of stuff to keep happening in their country so they are trying to set a big example

    who knows what they do with the convicted fellons of murder, nothing can be any worse than the ending of a life, maybe they result in a torturous death? this is just a obscene punishment for such a petty crime. just send her to do some time

  10. Brianne Coffey says:

    Death by firing squad does not proportionally fit the crime of drug trafficking. To top it off, Samantha O is pregnant. Wow, I’m not sure how women are treated in Laos, but apparently the fact she is carrying a baby does not matter. Maybe they want to cover up the possible rape of Samantha O that resulted in her getting pregnant in prison.

    The last execution done in Laos was in 1990. Nearly 20 years have gone by, and I can only think, “are drug traffickers not getting caught or has Laotian government been more lenient?”

  11. Jessica Mesmer says:

    This punishment seems to be a ridiculous! I mean I do not agree with drug trafficking, however, this punishment is not anywhere close to the crime. Especially with her being pregnant. Why kill a lady with a baby when the baby did nothing wrong? I think that is wrong! There should be equal punishment for the crime and this is definitely not equal! Especially because she is such a young woman, and could probably be rehabilitated into society or whatever they do now days that’s not death by a firing squad.

  12. Kimone Holtzman says:

    Ummm I do not agree with the possible punishment that this woman may recieve! I mean yeah she commited a crime, but death by a firing squad is harsh! Especially since it was only 1.1lbs! I think she should be punished/sanctioned for her actions and her decision, but I don’t think killing her will really solve any problems. Yes one can argue that if they know the penalty would be death they my not choose to make those choices if they know their life is on the line.

  13. Katie Francour says:

    I agree.. WOW!!! This is absolutely absurd!! And this lady is pregnant?!?! That makes it even more absurd, if that is even possible! I don’t even know what to really say, because it is so wrong. Obviously the Thailand justice system doesn’t believe in “cruel and unusual punishment” either. And if this is just meant to “set an example” that is ridiculous. Sentencing this lady to the death sentence will not necessarily help the problem at all- sometimes that could just make it worse. There are so many things worse than drug trafficking, such as arson, rape, assault, attempted murder, ransom.. the list could go on for a long time and are all of these also going to lead to death sentences if drug trafficking is? This could lead to anything being sentenced in death penalty. This just goes to show how different from America other countries really are.

  14. Elisabeth Callahan says:

    Death by fire squad seems very barbaric, one step away from being drawn and quartered.
    Thailand’s drug problem may be high but their means do not justify their end of deterrence.
    I’m glade to hear the woman, or more accurately, pregnant women, was not sentenced to this brutal death.
    Since when has an eye for an eye morphed into a fingernail for a head? When punishment doesn’t fit the crime, something is wrong both morally and within the core of their law system.

  15. Lindsay Pethan says:

    I can say that I do not agree at all with their penalty system. If we had the same punishment for carrying drugs in the United States, we would be executing a lot more people. I do not think the punishment fits the crime at all. It makes me curious to see how they punish murderers or rapists, which in my eyes is a far worse crime. I do not think Thailand believes in retribution at all, because this penalty does not fit the crime at all.

  16. Lindsay Ellifson says:

    This reminds me of the movie “Brokedown Palace” when American girls unknowingly smuggle drugs into Thailand, though it’s a different scenario, it’s still along the lines of the extreme measures their government/justice system takes in comparison to ours when it comes to drug crimes. I find it ridiculous that this would be the woman’s punishment, and feel that though she was wrong in smuggling the drugs in the first place, the punishment does not fit the crime at all!

  17. David Hanizeski says:

    I think many countries especially in Pacific Asia base their criminal justice system alot on the disrespect one can bring to the country. I don’t think it is so much the crime itself, but the fact that certain Asian countries build themselves on such high levels of pride, that they wont stand for any leway. I am in Sociology of Pacific Asia with Professor Neuman, and much of the unit is based on the west vs. the east and at what nationalistic respects they hold for eachother. Seeing that this was a british woman, it would seem that they are trying to take a stand in how they view Thailands leniency.

  18. Courtney Harries says:

    Okay I understand the lady committed a crime by smuggling drugs into Thailand, and it was just a liltte over 1lb, but punishing her, by giving her the death sentence doesnt even amount up the crime that she committed. I can understand her serving some time in jail where she smuggled the drugs to, but punishing someone by giving them the death penalty is not teaching them a lesson at all in actuality, it is teaching others around her not to committ the smae crime for future references.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *