STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bali fallout

Since my post on Schappelle Corby the other day, the media have gone into a frenzy of polls and exclusives, trying to catch every possible advertising dollar by luring people in with the promise of fresh information and new content. I think it's important to realise that the next lot of "fresh content" is going to be a long way away. Schappelle will be sitting in her Bali prison cell, while the extremely slow wheels of the Indonesian legal system turn. In the meantime, here's a response I wrote originally as a comment on this blog, that belongs to one of my friends. I decided it was too big for a comment, so here it is.

I know a lot of people are angry because they believe Schappelle Corby is innocent, but I think the issue is not whether she's innocent or guilty, but whether Indonesia's legal system was fair in making their decision - which I think they most definatley were not. Schappelle shouldn't be in prison, not necissarily because she's innocent, but because there is substantial evidence to bring into doubt her guilt. I think from a legal perspective, it's a case of she might be innocent, and therefore shouldn't be sentanced as guilty. You know, reasonable doubt and all that. Indonesia however, don't think so, and personally I really feel this is an "us vs. them" issue. I think one of the major reasons that she was handed such a tough sentance, and why Indonesians in the court room cheered at her sentancing is because she's Australian, and so they want her to be treated harshly. This might be a big call, but I really think it's true. I think they were trying to send Australia a message that they're not going to let us push them around. I think that the fact the court ignored the letter from the Australian government was part of this. The judge has commented on how unusual that was, and I think the more involved that Australia became, the more the Indonesians resolved to serve her a guilty verdict, and a harsh sentance. This isn't fair on poor Schapelle, who has ended up being the scapegoat for Indonesia's message to Australia.

The other thing I find interesting is that this Indonesian judge has now tried 501 cases, in all of which the defendants were found guilty. This is a logical improbability. It is entirely improbable that of 501 people tried, not one had reasonable grounds to be found innocent. What does this say about the judge trying this case? That he is fair? Just? Impartial? I would have to conclude that his record proves that it is logically improbable that he is any of these things.

OK, that's my last post on this topic. My wife has embarked on a possibly 20-year task of writing letters of encouragement to Schappelle in prison, and I think this is possibly the most meaningful thing we can do at this time. I imagine that if she doesn't get freed, people may forget in a few years that she is still living day-to-day in an environment no person should have to endure.

On a lighter note, at least all of this has benefited someone. The guy at the airport shrinkwrapping people's bags is making a fortune...

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