Endy M. Bayuni, chief editor of The Jakarta Post, reports:
Corby was found guilty of attempting to smuggle 4.1 kilograms of marijuana through the Denpasar airport in October. Compare her verdict with what other foreigners have received in Bali, and one has to admit that she has had the harshest punishment of all when compared to other similar cases.
A Mexican woman who smuggled 15.22 kg of marijuana received only a seven-year prison term in December 2001. An Italian man was sentenced to 15 years in July last year for attempting to smuggle 5.3 kg of cocaine, a much more dangerous drug. Corby did not smuggle cocaine and the amount of marijuana she was accused of smuggling is far less than what the Mexican woman brought in. Yet, she got a harsher sentence.
Looking back, one cannot help get the feeling that Australia’s media hype in covering Corby’s trial almost became a self-fulfilling prophecy on Friday. Even in finding her guilty, there was no reason for the judges to hand down such a harsh penalty, and even less so for the prosecutors to demand a life sentence in the first place. One can only conclude from here that both the judges and the prosecutors have been influenced by what was happening outside the court.
One might also conclude that a legal system so easily influenced is a crap legal system. Australian lawyers also blame the press for spooking defensive Indonesian judges:
Schapelle Corby could have got a better result had there been less media hype, said a QC who may help with her appeal.
Perth-based barrister Tom Percy, QC, said he had no doubt the 27-year-old was innocent, and blamed the media circus for putting pressure on the case …
Barrister Jon Davies, junior counsel to Mr Percy, also told ABC radio today that Corby was very probably innocent.
Mr Percy said: “I have no doubt at all that other people have got better results over there because the whole matter was kept a lot quieter.”
And the judges’ verdict, said to be provoked by media attention, is one we’re meant to respect?
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