The Bali High Court has rejected an appeal lodged by prosecutors that demanded a 19-year sentence for a Balinese woman convicted of killing her own three children.
Ni Luh Putu Septyan Parmadani was sentenced to 4.5 years behind bars by Gianyar District Court this past October. The Bali High Court withheld the Gianyar court’s decision on Monday.
The woman made headlines in Bali earlier this year for allegedly killing her own three biological children before attempting—and failing—to take her own life.
Prosecutors found the 4.5 year sentence grossly lenient and pushed an appeal to increase Septyan’s time, but judges have rejected the appeal, citing the woman’s psychological state.
“The public prosecutor lacked an understanding of the psychological conditions that the caused the defendant to commit a criminal act against her own three children. The condition was allegedly due to deep trauma from her marriage, where the husband often treated her harshly. Hit her head, yelled at her, threatened to divorce her and never provided for her as his wife,” states the judges’ decision, as quoted by Detik.
“Considering the accumulation of (domestic) violence experienced by the defendant, she experienced severe depression which shows shock. She had weak social support and needed a catharsis for the burden she was carrying,” Sutoyo, chairman of the judges panel, said.
“The 19-year sentence demand from the public prosecutor for the defendant shows that the prosecutor’s perspective gave up the social and psychological context of the defendant, trying to put forward a deterrent effect. Even though she lost her three children and failed to kill herself after killing her children,” Sutoyo added.
“Severe punishment will actually be a trigger for the defendant to carry out destructive actions in the future,” the court concluded.
Septyan was previously indicted for smothering her three children to death in Sukawati, Gianyar on Feb. 21, 2018. Her three children were aged six, four, and two. After killing the children, Septyan attempted suicide by drinking liquid insect repellent. The woman had been working as an elementary school teacher at the time of the incident. She is the wife of Putu Moh Diana, 35.