CHELTENHAM grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was handed the death sentence last month for drug smuggling in Bali. The 56-year-old, who once lived in Hester's Way and Warden Hill, was told she would face a firing squad after police arrested her in May last year with nearly five kilos of cocaine. In this week's Great Debate, we ask – should capital punishment still exist? And should it apply in the case of Lindsay Sandiford?
Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood tells why he is against the death penalty, one of the reasons he is intervening in the case of Lindsay Sandiford so strongly.
I simply don't think it can be justified for a state to rule that a person should die.
It's morally wrong – whatever crime they have committed.
Sometimes killing other people can happen in warfare and, while that is regrettable, it sometimes cannot be avoided.
But to have a state condemn someone to death in cold blood is a step too far – whatever part of the world you're in.
Now that an appeal has been lodged in the case of Lindsay Sandiford that gives her more time. The first recourse is to appeal to the High Court and then to the Supreme Court. Then, there is still a chance to appeal to the president of Indonesia for clemency. He is said to be against the death penalty.
Although the death penalty remains part of Indonesian law, no one has been executed there since 2009. The fact the statute remains part of their law is a leftover from the dictatorship regime and out of tune with a democracy.
I have made this point very clearly face to face with the ambassador of Indonesia when discussing the case of Lindsay Sandiford. How do you think tourists will feel going on holiday there knowing that if they were coerced into carrying drugs they could be executed?
If it wants to be seen as a progressive, modern country then this statute needs to be wiped from the books.
Richard Moger, 33, from Whaddon disagrees.
I think when you read about what she has done, no one seems to be in too much doubt that this woman was guilty of smuggling large amounts of drugs into Bali.
She would have known when she decided to do that what the punishment was, so I don't think she can have much cause for complaint when she is caught and punished according to the law of the land.
When you are abroad, it's important to respect the laws of the country you're in.
Whether you agree with them or not is beside the point.
This woman was arrested bringing a large amount of cocaine into Bali and she was bang to rights.
Those drugs would have been used by people on the island – potentially causing harm to people who bought them.
Although she was almost certainly part of a demand and supply scenario, and if she didn't bring the drugs in someone else would have, it's still hard to find much sympathy for someone who was prepared to put other lives at risk in order to line her own pockets.
I don't see why, because she is a British citizen, she should get off any lighter than others who have been executed for similar crimes in that part of the world before.
It seems to me to be double standards.
People will question whether the death penalty is right in the first place. But should we be telling countries like Indonesia how to make their own laws just because one of our citizens has fallen foul of them?
If you do the crime, you should be prepared to do the time. And in this case that means the death penalty.
It's not a very palatable. We might not like it. But at least it sends out a strong message to drug traffickers who are preying on people on the island.
What kind of message does it send them if she gets a light sentence?