Wednesday, April 06, 2005

on being innocent

A friend has sent through an email petition to help save Shapelle Corby. In part the email reads:

"It is disgusting and barbaric in this day and age that a 'death penalty by firing squad' law exists, and that an Australian citizen should be subject to it. This law is out-dated and inhumane, and considering that convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Bashir has only been sentenced to two years and six months jail (with the prospect of appeal) for his proven 'conspiracy' participation in the Bali bombings that killed 183 people, in the same country, it is inconsistent and absurd that another person should face the death penalty for allegedly smuggling cannibis into the country.
Furthermore, the Australian Government and airlines should be taking more responsibility for this incident in any case, since it is the fault of the
Australian airlines/airport that the drugs even left Australia in the first place - which also leaves us to ponder on the security and possible internal corruption of staff working at Australian airports, in light of drug smuggling and terrorism."

If you haven't received the email and wish to protest, email our Foreign Minister at "".
I feel really sorry for Shapelle. My gut feeling--for what it isn't worth--is that she's innocent. I reckon her scarily-plucked eyebrows do have the unfortunate effect of making her look somewhat cunning, and that might be something for her to bear in mind should she ever get back to beauty school. But really, isn't this every traveller's nightmare? How on earth would you prove your innocence? It'd be virtually impossible, as Corby is finding out the hardest possible way.
It is a fact that this could have happened to any of us. When I did about 30 flights in a row while backpacking in my early twenties, I hardly ever bothered to lock my bags. I placed a lot of wide-eyed trust in airport security, just like Shapelle obviously did.
Given all the stuff-ups by the airports which have made it impossible for her to prove her bag was lighter when she last touched it than when it was recovered in Bali, I think she is especially deserving of the presumption of innocence here.
And assuming she's innocent: one minute she's on her way for a holiday to Bali, next thing she's facing the death penalty.
Imagine how it would feel.