Unless you’ve been living in a cave devoid of any access to the outside world, I’m sure you would have heard that Schapelle Corby has been granted clemency by the Indonesian Government. The ABC reported:
Foreign Minister Bob Carr has thanked Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for granting clemency to convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby.
Corby will be free much sooner than expected after the Indonesian president approved a five-year cut to her sentence.
A letter from Mr Yudhoyono has been delivered to Denpasar court confirming that Corby has had five years taken from her sentence but Corby has yet to see the letter because it must first be sent to the local prosecutor.
Combined with maximum time off for good behaviour, Corby would be released in mid-2015, but she could be released earlier based on the recommendation of justice department officials.
Since this announcement, it feels like many people, Australian and Indonesian, are very torn about this news. Many welcome the news, saying that Corby has served enough time. Some are shocked as it’s the first time clemency has been granted to a narcotics criminal in Indonesia. Chief Justice of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has said drug crimes are worse than terrorism and he does not back the President’s decision to grant clemency. And there are others who think that while the sentencing may be harsh, it is the law in Indonesia and should be abided by.
I’m on the fence, in a major way. Since news broke of Schapelle’s situation back in 2004 (if you don’t know what the situation is that I’m referring to, you can read all about it here, yes I know it’s Wikipedia, but it’s got everything all in one place) I have constantly switched between thinking she’s guilty and innocent. Sometimes I’m convinced she’s guilty because how on earth could you “not feel” an extra 4kgs of weight in a body board bag and why would you be taking one to Bali when your sister owns a surf shop there? On the flip side, not once since being arrested seven and a half years ago has Schapelle stopped maintaining her innocence. There were also a few flaws in the case against her (like the body board bag never being tested for fingerprints).
I feel, regardless of whether she was guilty or innocent, she has served enough time in decidedly horrible conditions. But having said that, sentencing against drug crimes in Indonesia has always been harsh and who am I to say that another country should lessen their laws to suit me and what I think? She broke the laws of another country while she was in it, and therefore the consequences are fair enough. I’m torn, but I think we can all agree on one thing: Schapelle’s case divides all of us.
What do you think? Are you glad she was granted clemency? Do you think her sentence was too harsh or do you think ‘do the crime do the time’?
Monique Fischle has written 98 posts.
22 year old communications assistant with a love of books, movies, music, ASOS and all things celebrity! I blog over at ‘the musings of monique’ and tweet quite frequently @moniquefischle.
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