29 June 2008

Schapelle Corby -- Guilty?

How things change over time. Based on a recent Taverner Research poll it is clear that the majority of residents surveyed feel that Corby is guilty of the crimes for which she is doing 20 years. The majority in this case is slim at only 53% however, there are only 15% of those surveyed who believed her to be innocent. The rest remained unconvinced either way on guilt or innocence (perhaps they just do not care one way or the other).

The survey also found that people would be favourable to Corby serving out her sentence in Australia if and when a prisoner transfer agreement was reached. I have posted on this before and my view is that it will depend on the conditions of the agreement. If 20 years means 20 years in an Australian prison then perhaps Corby and her family would need to give some serious considerations to the generous remission provisions that prevail in Indonesia.

Public opinion would seem to be shifting on whether Corby is guilty or innocent.


Rishardana said...

I also agree that it's better if she could serve her time in Australia. That way her family could easily come and pay a visit and give support for her seemingly deteriorating mental state.

20 years in a foreign country must be very though for any woman especially if the drugs was not hers.

If it's really her brother's, man, she's one loyal sister. Not the same thing could be said about the brother though.

Rob Baiton said...


On the serving the time in an Australian prison, I agree. It would be easier for her family to come and visit. However, there is a flip side to that and I allude to it.

It all depends on the conditions / provisions of the prisoner transfer agreement because Indonesia has generous remission provisions and 20 years is going to very likely end up being much closer to 12 maybe 14 years on the outside.

Who knows, maybe in 5 or so years the president is just going to say bugget it and grant early release.

For me it is never as "cut and dried" as some people make it out to be.

Polar Bear said...

Which brings me back to internationalisation of crime and punishment Rob.

She would be in an Australian jail doing 20 years, alnogside girls doing 12 months for exactly the same crime.

And what if her crime was not illegal in australia? How do we handle that?

Rob Baiton said...


That is my point with respect to if 20 means 20 then she will do a full 20 years without any of the benefits of if she had opted to do the time in Indonesia.

Yet, it depends on the provisions of the prisoner transfer agreement. Nevertheless, my current understanding is that the Australian government would not be able to fiddle in a non-parole period so Corby if she opted to transfer would be in jail for 20 years and yes she would be serving time next to people doing a whole lot less time for similar offences.

On the "if it is not a crime in Australia" question. Simply, these particular individuals would not qualify for a prisoner transfer deal (at least that is my understanding of the discussions so far).

Polar Bear said...

Rob, Its a complicated issue, and i admit I only just started to think it over. I guess as we becoem more 'internatonalised" it will become more and more of a topic....

indonesia anonymus said...

Interesting discussion!

Here's a thought from us indonesian taxpayers: it is actually cheaper for taxpayers if we just deport her.

It costs a lot to keep her in jail.
Indonesian children are malnourished and we have to feed schapelle corby?

but of course one would argue, if the punishment of smuggling drugs is a mere deportation, then it will not prevent others to commit it.

So here's a thought: it's either capital punishment (as promised by our law in the first place), or kick her out. Nothing in between.

If beyond reasonable doubt she is not guilty enough to be executed, then kick her out and ban her from re-entering the country (not that she plans to anyway!)

She suffered enough already. And our tax money can be put to better use.

And to future drug offenders, here's a tip: considering how cheap and easy drugs are here, it seems we don't need people like corby to smuggle stuff in. We are pretty much self-sufficient in that line of business.
Try Singapore.

Rob Baiton said...


The rational economics-based discussion of doing jail time :D

The deportation thing just would not work as a matter of fairness. Hence the need for a prisoner transfer protocol.

People might argue that this is so teh prisoner can be closer to family and the like. But I would suggest that there is a cost element as well although this would probably balance out in the end as more Indonesians imprisoned overseas availed themselves of the transfer opportunity (assuming Indonesia puts into place transfer agreements world wide).

Simple deportation is hardly a deterrent to drug trafficking.

Beyond a reasonable doubt = execution is an interesting argument because if that it the road you are going to take then the logical end game here might not be too pretty.

If the premise is as a tax payer your tax rupiahs can be better spent on poverty reduction than on feeding prisoners then wouldn't it also make sense that if any prisoner has been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt that they should be executed no matter what the crime?

Yep, I would agree that watching Indonesian news will tell you that Indonesia is pretty much self-sufficient on the supply of drugs front.

IA, as always, thanks for dropping by. I am glad I finally wrote something that was interesting enough for you to comment on.

Enjoy the coming week!

Indonesia Anonymus said...

Wow, hang on there.
We didn't say "that they should be executed no matter what the crime".
We are saying in the context of drug trafficking: the law clearly says that it is punishable by death.
Jail is still needed of course for other crimes.

Our justice system clearly cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that corby deserves the death penalty. That's why she is still around.

We're just looking at the specific corby case from the cost point of view. If by kicking her out one indonesian child can be less hungry, we think it is something to consider.

Prisoner exchange would work if say an indonesian citizen is discriminated against in Australia and therefore would like to be transfered home where he/she can be treated more fairly. (and vice versa). But as pointed out in the previous discussion, what if the crime committed is not a crime in their home country? It's like committing a crime in rupiah and paying it in Euro.
So here's a thought: those in prisoner exchange deserves a re-trial in their home country.
This is to 'adjust the currency', so to speak.

Again, this is from the 'economic' point of view.
Please don't take this too seriously. We're just playing around with ideas here.

Once again, very interesting discussion you got here.

Rob Baiton said...


Not taking it too seriously can work both ways when we are tossing around ideas, right? :D

Polar Bear said...

Well, maybe Australia PAYS Indoneisa to keep Corby in jail...

WAIT!!! Why now pay Indonesia to hold ALL of our prisoners. Im sure its cheaper than keep them here...

Alternatively we could sit them a few freezing icebergs and let them fend for thmeselves :)

Rob Baiton said...


The idea of paying another country to be a holding zone (or processing facility) is not without precedent :D

After all, Australia paid Nauru to become a holding facility for boat people / illegal immigrants, didn't it?

So, paying Indonesia to keep our people locked up here would make sense economically. If we were paying Indonesia then perhaps this alleviates some of the concerns presented by IA that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Just a thought!