Metallica Sought To Intervene In Drug Charge Sentence

Metallica has used their immense power in the entertainment world to assist in real-world causes in the past. In 2009, the band used their highly-visited website and social media accounts to assist in the search for a missing Virginia woman who went missing after one of their concerts. However, being asked to intervene when two men have been sentenced to death for drug trafficking might be a first for Metallica.

Two men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were sentenced to death back in 2006 in Indonesia. The men were found guilty of trying to smuggle heroin into the country, a capital offense. Last weekend, Chan and Sukumaran’s lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, sought out Metallica on Twitter and asked the band to intervene on his clients’ behalf.

What could Metallica possibly do about the verdict? According to Lubis, he says that it would make a difference in the sentence if Metallica went to Indonesia, played a concert, and made a plea to the president of Indonesia (Joko Widodo) to save the lives of his clients. President Widodo is apparently one heck of a heavy metal fan, and Lubis believes that Metallica could sway the sentence.

This isn’t the first time Lubis has made this sort of request. Reportedly, Tony Iommi, guitar player for Black Sabbath, and Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway have already been sought out by Lubis. Both men have sent letters to President Widodo requesting a stay of execution for Lubis’ clients.

Guitar legend Tony Iommi said in his letter that he understands the drug problems Indonesia has, but he believes that the two inmates have reformed since being in prison.

“I understand and respect your efforts to combat drug abuse in lndonesia, this is something that all countries are having to deal with. Indeed, I have seen first hand the negative impacts that drugs can have on people and their families… I appeal to you, as a forgiving man, to take note of their transformation. They are now reformed men who are making a positive difference to the lives of their fellow prisoners… Please allow them to serve out life sentences where they contribute to the wellbeing of Indonesia and make good for the error of their previous ways. I do hope you will consider this personal appeal.”

Napalm Death’s frontman Barney Greenway appealed to President Widodo’s sense of leadership in his letter.

“I understand that you are standing as a leader determined to change things for the better, and so I believe granting clemency would be a major step forward in this pursuit of betterment. I appreciate that heroin can be damaging on many levels, but I believe that this is a much deeper issue that cannot be changed or altered by simply taking away the lives of people.”

At the beginning of March, Sukumaran and Chan were reportedly transferred from a prison on the mainland of Indonesia to Nusakambangan Island — a place that is known as “execution island” by the locals. If President Widodo does not intervene in the two men’s execution, the pair are scheduled to be killed by a firing squad.

To this point, no response had been heard from Metallica or their representatives.

[Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty images]