29 July 2010

Schapelle Corby's Sentence to be Reduced?

It has been a while since a Schapelle Corby (photo courtesy of AAP) related post. So, now would seem an appropriate time to make one, particularly considering that there is a very solid likelihood that a large sentence reduction is on the cards. How large remains to be seen, but the Jakarta rumour mill is working overtime, and all indications are that it will be significant.

To be truthful, no one is commenting publicly on this that would be quotable in a verifiable sense. And, stranger things have happened with sentence cuts and other remissions that seemed destined to happen. So, fingers crossed for Ms. Corby and her family that this is something that comes to fruition.

Schapelle Corby lodged a clemency appeal to get herself released on humanitarian grounds. There were fairly solid grounds for the appeal. It is clear that the prison years since 2004 have taken their toll mentally and physically. She is definitely never going to be the same, but one never knows, she might get some semblance of normalcy back to her life on release. The Indonesians have acknowledged her depression and have treated it. The family and other supporters have claimed for a long period of time that Schapelle's mental illness is significantly more serious than 'mere' depression and that she needs to be repatriated to Australia and treated here.

It would seem that the Indonesian Supreme Court has been swayed by the petition and has supposedly recommended to the president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, that a significant sentence reduction be granted. The ultimate decision on clemency petitions rests with the president. However, it is uncommon for the president to go against the recommendation of the Supreme Court in a case like this. Nevertheless, it would seem unlikely that it would be reduced to time served with an immediate release to follow. However, it is worth noting that this is not outside the realm of possibility.

The Indonesians have clearly made their point on the seriousness of drugs and drug smuggling, and an immediate release would be seen as a good will gesture by most. There will still be those that argue she should never have been in Kerobokan in the first place, but that is probably a hypothetical argument for later because what has been done cannot be undone.

And, for these people the continued bashing of Indonesia as a backward barbarian third world nation lacking compassion will go on unabated. It might be worth considering what the priorities are here; seeing Schapelle free or bashing Indonesia, and determining how best to go forward with any media campaign associated with Schapelle Corby's release from prison.

Another possibility is that the original 20-year sentence will be cut in half. And, with expected remissions to be granted in August and December for Indonesian Independence Day and Christmas respectively, it is possible that Corby will be free towards the end of this year or very early next year.

Good luck to her. It would seem that her desire to have a child as a free woman is coming that much closer to becoming a reality.

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