Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Add Indonesia to the list of countries where one does not want to get entangled with the law

How's this for a horrible story:

Schapelle Corby could learn today what penalty she will face if she is found guilty of drug trafficking by an Indonesian court. Corby, a Gold Coast beauty student, could be sentenced to death by firing squad if found guilty of trying to smuggle 4.1kg of marijuana into Bali's Denpasar airport last October. Prosecutors are today scheduled to tell the court's three-judge panel what punishment they think should be imposed if Corby is convicted. ABC Radio reported today that the prosecutors would seek an adjournment, pleading that they need more time. Ultimately, it would be up to the judges to decide Corby's guilt or innocence and what penalty should be handed down, if any. That decision is not expected until early to mid-May. Indonesian courts do not have juries. Concern has been raised in Australia about Indonesian authorities' conduct of the case, and Corby has denied having anything to do with the drugs found in her luggage.
The firing squad for marijuana! The article also hints, although it doesn't say, that this may be a set-up, and she is truly a victim. But even if Corby did smuggle marijuana into Indonesia -- the firing squad for marijuana?! How utterly appalling. Boiled down to its essentials, this Indonesian smuggling law imposes a death penalty for a crime that has no victim. I understand that Indonesia may have a general policy of wanting to deter smugglers, but it's very un-Western to have a death penalty for a crime in which the defendant did not first cause anyone's death. Indeed, in this case, the drugs were not even disseminated beyond the bag in which they were found. I think this situation would fall well within the Constitutions prohibition against Cruel and Unusual Punishment, in that it is so grossly disproportionate to the alleged wrong. My best wishes go to Ms. Corby.