Malaysia: The Hangman Strikes Again

The Hangman Strikes Again

At dawn one day last week two Australian drug runners, Brian Chambers, 29, and Kevin Barlow, 28, were hanged at Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur. Although they were the first non-Asians to be sent to the gallows under Malaysia's harsh narcotics laws, 36 other drug traffickers have been executed since a 1983 amendment imposed the mandatory death penalty for the possession of more than 15 grams of heroin. When Chambers and Barlow were arrested in November 1983, they were carrying nearly 180 grams.

Last-minute appeals for clemency for the two Australians, which were sent to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad by...

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