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Guilty until proven innocent
May 26, 2005 11:30 PM   Subscribe

Guilty until proven innocent. I guess no one should have been confident of her being found not guilty. At approximately 1:45pm today, Shapelle Corby of Australia was sentenced to 20 years in prison for importing narcotics into Indonesia - $4000 worth of weed that would have sold for $40,000 in Australia. $4000 worth of weed that was never fingerprinted nor tested. Her main line of defence, that the dope was the result of a bungled drug smuggling operation in Australia, backed up by the Australian Government by a letter to the Indonesian Government was not enough. Previous discussion here.
posted by Jase_B (74 comments total)

 
$4000 worth of weed that would have sold for $40,000 in Australia

...or would have sold for $40,000 (or more) to Australians holidaying in Bali who are unimpressed by the quality of the local smoke.

Probably not entirely coincidental that she was carrying the drugs into Bali just as a huge influx of bogans was expected to show up for the anniversary of the Bali bombings.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:34 PM on May 26, 2005


(which is not to say that the drugs were necessarily hers...they must have been sent by the Australian baggage handlers to their counterparts in Denpasar, who were...um...er...asleep on the job & unable to remove them from the bag or something...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:39 PM on May 26, 2005


you can fingerprint grass?
posted by trinarian at 11:42 PM on May 26, 2005


The plastic bag that was holding the weed was never fingerprinted. Sorry, should have made that clearer.
posted by Jase_B at 11:43 PM on May 26, 2005


Nobody who looks that good could be guilty. Besides, look at that hang-dog expression on her face. She feels sorry.

Let's get her a present.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:48 PM on May 26, 2005


I guess no one should have been confident of her being found not guilty.

Who on Earth was confident?

"I've been handling more than 500 drug cases but I have never acquitted one," [Judge] Sirait told the Nine Network.
posted by Wolof at 11:54 PM on May 26, 2005


somebody call the goddamn A-team already.
posted by ori at 11:57 PM on May 26, 2005


for our friends overseas, a definition:

bogan (n): a lower-class Australian. Likes to smoke dope and go to places like Bali. Etymology: anagram of "bonga" (colloquial misspelling of bonger (n): somebody who smokes bongs).

posted by UbuRoivas at 11:57 PM on May 26, 2005


I have a lot of sympathy for Schapelle Corby who mere instincts tell me is innocent, but I have ZERO sympathy and respect for the thousands of Australians up in arms about this verdict.

When are we going to hear some fuss (any fuss!) made about Chika Honda, a pretty Japanese girl falsely imprisoned in a Melbourne jail for drug smuggling who has already served a ten year sentence and never pardoned?

And what happens if you're a not very attractive looking, ethnically Asian Australian and on death row in a foreign country for drug smuggling?


Aussie Compassion Scoreboard
---------------------------------

Scrawny little Asian guy : 3
Pretty buxom Caucasian sweety : 1800
posted by DirtyCreature at 11:58 PM on May 26, 2005


If you go into the "Judgement Day" picture section, the advert underneath a picture of Schapelle being convicted shouts "Wish you were here?"
posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:07 AM on May 27, 2005


Better yet... the "Escape" tag too.

Image hosted by TinyPic.com
posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:11 AM on May 27, 2005


If Corby is guilty of smuggling cannabis into Bali that day as a profitable enterprise, you can be sure that 10 (or 50?) other smugglers were successful that very day. And the next. And the next....
posted by telstar at 12:26 AM on May 27, 2005


Amateurs.

The Indonesians need to update their asset seizure laws to get them into line with the west: then they could have auctioned off the contents of her suitcase on eBay for a tidy profit.
posted by snarfodox at 12:28 AM on May 27, 2005


Hey DirtyCreature, just for the record, where are you from? I note you have no details in your user profile.

I'm not sure why you should hold Corby supporters in a lesser light because of your obvious strong feelings about a completely separate case but on the face of it, it's illogical to the point of incredulity.

And the supposed compassion scoreboard is a little childish too. You're editorializing to the nth degree. If you want to argue a point, do so. But don't expect that by throwing links to news numbers will gain much support for whatever it is you're alleging. Corby's white and female obviously, but the facts of her case have been so unusual on many levels that it will have likely been given prominence (maybe not so much admittedly, but that's a beef to take up with the press agencies) in any event.

Just by the by, I have no axe to grind and no particular opinion regarding the Corby sentencing.
posted by peacay at 12:31 AM on May 27, 2005


The Bali tourist industry exists primarily as a nice, cheap, tropical location for Aussies to go get shitfaced. The place is full of dodgy all-nighter bars and 50c drinks.

In this sort of environment, we're jailing someone for 20 years for some bags of weed. Is there just a little double standard there? It's the "one law for one drug, another law for another drug" philosophy of the war on drugs taken to the logical extreme.

On top of this, the fact is cannabis is as common as mud in asia. There's a tour you can on Vietnam, ignored by the authorities, that involves being taken out on the harbour in a boat and smoking fat hoohak bongs all day. A friend told me of a trip to Thailand where their hotel room came stocked with a bowl of choice buds.

It's all feigned, virtuous anger on the part of the Indonesians, driven by a desire to play their part in the US-backed (and ethically criminal) "War on Drugs". It's only import/export they care about.

I doubt Corby's guilt. However, if she is guilty, she's also incredibly, unfathomably stupid for trying to smuggle drugs the way she allegedly did. However, the penalty for this offence should, in a just world, be no more than that of bringing unauthorised plant material through customs.
posted by Jimbob at 12:47 AM on May 27, 2005


Hey DirtyCreature, just for the record, where are you from? I note you have no details in your user profile

Oops did I break some federal rule publishing rule or offend someone in the most centrally-controlled, least diverse media community in the "modern" world? My apologies. Please give the contact details of the record keeping agency who needs to know my ethnicity before I publish my opinions and I will be sure to tell them.

Come now, you don't want me accusing you of implying "if you tell me you're of non-Caucasian ethnicity, or from some country with grievances with Australia, then I'm going to feel less guilt about the fact that my fellow citizens are blind to the sufferring of anyone else but those who look like them" do you?

Unfortunately for this line of reasoning, however, neither is true.
posted by DirtyCreature at 12:50 AM on May 27, 2005


Death would be too good for her. Do you know how many people that weed could have killed? 4.1kg or about 9 pounds - that's at least a serious concussion right there.
posted by Astragalus at 12:59 AM on May 27, 2005


As I understand it, Indonesian law currently states that simple possession is enough for conviction, and she admitted that it was her bag. It was therefore her obligation to lock and check her bags to ensure that they were not tampered with.

Under that law, she is guilty.

It's similar to the western law of under-age sex. If you have sex with someone under-age, it doesn't matter if you didn't know how old they were; it was your obligation to ensure that they not under-age.

Perhaps that's not a fair law, but it's the law they currently have.

And just to keep the statisticians happy, I'm an Australian, living in Australia (and currently wearing black underpants).
posted by Lionfire at 1:22 AM on May 27, 2005


If she wasn't a babe, it would have been a non-story
posted by growabrain at 1:26 AM on May 27, 2005


They should inject her with all the drugs she smuggled. Through a needle-!
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:26 AM on May 27, 2005


It's similar to the western law of under-age sex. If you have sex with someone under-age, it doesn't matter if you didn't know how old they were; it was your obligation to ensure that they not under-age.

Similar if it was someone else who slipped your cock into the 15 year old.
posted by biffa at 2:37 AM on May 27, 2005


DirtyCreature writes "Unfortunately for this line of reasoning, however, neither is true."
Umm...I asked where you're from because you've got an obvious grievance about the media (and I presume just the Aussie media but I'm not quite sure) and so knowing whether you live here or not would help to understand you're obliquely voiced arguments. If you want to take a paranoid view about that simple question that's your right I guess. But you're mouthing off and I'm trying to tease out what it is you're actually trying to communicate. I may be an Aussie but that's entirely beside the point here because I really don't know about these cases you've raised, nor do I know an awful lot about Corby.
But I'm afraid that anyone who shrilly generalizes about all the media or all a particular group, such as the large support base for Corby (again, whom I neither support nor condemn) is not presenting a convincing argument or gaining support for any point of view.

If you want to spew vitriol haphazardly without attempting to make a supporting case well that's just fine. But your wasted keystrokes in this forum could be put to better use perhaps in writing to these despised publications in an attempt to voice your position. *sigh* Carry on as you will.



Lionfire writes "And just to keep the statisticians happy, I'm an Australian, living in Australia (and currently wearing black underpants)."

That's entirely too much information but thanks for playing.



growabrain writes "If she wasn't a babe, it would have been a non-story"

Hmm...a lot of people say she's a babe but I don't see it. I guess we don't have to worry about competing for the same girls.
posted by peacay at 2:50 AM on May 27, 2005


What do you have to do to be guilty? Be caught selling the drugs you have?

She was caught with kilos of dope on her in an airport. Does everyone else have to be guilty of conspiracies? She had also been to Bali a number of times before. There is a reasonably credible suggestion that she knew something was in there from the customs offical. The boogey board would have been considerably heavier than what it should have been and she should have had some idea there was something wrong. How much does a boogey board weigh? 5kgs? It doubles in weight and you don't notice?

It is possible that she is innocent, but if someone was caught in Australia like that, well, do you think they would be regarded as innocent?

The penalty is very harsh, and it is weird that an Australian would run that sort of risk. But it is also possible that a lot of Australians know that the Indonesian customs people are pretty hopeless and are usually bribed. But the evidence against her does appear to be pretty strong.
posted by sien at 2:54 AM on May 27, 2005


So far I haven't seen a shred of evidence that she's not guilty. If she wasn't young, female and pretty, nobody would care. And it doesn't matter whether you agree with Indonesia's laws or not. The law is quite clear, and if you go to Indonesia, you are subject to Indonesia's law. If you have a problem with that, you are free not to visit Indonesia.
posted by salmacis at 2:58 AM on May 27, 2005


$4000 worth of weed that would have sold for $40,000 in Australia

As I said previously, I believe, based mostly on instinct, that Schapelle Corby is innocent in a moral sense (i.e. didn't know about the drugs in her bag). However your argument above to support her innocence just doesn't work. There was a report in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald detailing how hydroponic bud from Australia attracts a much higher price in Bali amongst Westerners than it would in Australia.

You're still going to have to face the ugly truth about the motivation behind the very heavy interest in this case compared to other similar cases.
posted by DirtyCreature at 4:09 AM on May 27, 2005


DirtyCreature writes "You're still going to have to face the ugly truth about the motivation behind the very heavy interest in this case compared to other similar cases."

Just WHO is the you in "You're" ???
posted by peacay at 4:17 AM on May 27, 2005


The law is quite clear, and if you go to Indonesia, you are subject to Indonesia's law. If you have a problem with that, you are free not to visit Indonesia.

That's all very well but it doesn't address a situation where you go there, not breaking any laws and someone else does something for which you get the blame. (Regardless of the Corby Case)
posted by biffa at 4:18 AM on May 27, 2005


Just WHO is the you in "You're"

Those damn Bolivians. No wait. Might have been the Greenlanders.
posted by DirtyCreature at 4:26 AM on May 27, 2005




"MAWRRRR! WEEEEEEEEEEEED! WEEEEED!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:29 AM on May 27, 2005


"We give em a billion bucks and this is what we get!" - logically-challenged comment from some guy at the local shopping centre as everyone stopped their shopping/serving and gathered around the tv set to see the judges' verdict. Sad for Corby, sad for Bali and bloody sad drug laws!
posted by Onanist at 4:48 AM on May 27, 2005


Onanist writes "'We give em a billion bucks and this is what we get!' - logically-challenged comment from some guy"
Now that's the sort of reasoning that will win us friends. Ugh.

DirtyCreature writes "Those damn Bolivians. No wait. Might have been the Greenlanders."
OK, now you've lost a potential listener. But then again, you didn't actually come in here to discuss anything did you? Rant rant snark spite shift. pfft.
posted by peacay at 5:07 AM on May 27, 2005


Nice family behavior at the trial.
I'd be interested in what he past looks like. Party girl? Priors? College graduate? Skilled tradesman? Other than country of origin I don't see much about who she is as a person.
"Facts" in print are more fuzzy by the day, but an actual background of events would help somewhat.
All considered, I'll bet she is out in a couple of years.
posted by buzzman at 5:49 AM on May 27, 2005


As I said previously, I believe, based mostly on instinct, that Schapelle Corby is innocent in a moral sense

What kind of reasoning is that? Since when did instinct take precidence over evidence?
posted by salmacis at 6:04 AM on May 27, 2005


If you will go and look at Indonesian embassy sites, you will find that they are proudly displaying their victories in the war against drugs. Corby is by no means the only one to have been arrested. Presumably they need to make up for all the ones that get away.

Corby may have to spend a long time in an Indonesian prison; I assume her best bet is to hope that the Australian government will do a deal which will allow her to serve her sentence back home.

Meanwhile, other people in other places are still being hauled before the courts for dealing a drug which is no more offensive than gin.
posted by TimothyMason at 6:14 AM on May 27, 2005


If she really did fall victim to some sort of drug-smuggling ring, then the government of Australia should put its money where its mouth is and break it open. Oz shouldn't be very pleased about a bunch of smugglers operating out of one of its airports, either, I'd imagine. A few solid convictions and some (relatively) credible testimony should be enough to reverse her conviction.
posted by MrZero at 6:28 AM on May 27, 2005


The lesson here (if she is innocent) is to avoid travel to Indonesia. Just like I avoid travel to the US so they get less chances to deport my Canadian ass to Syria. If Australian tourists were serious about this issue they'd all boycott Indonesia and you'd see some bargaining happening until she was released.
posted by Mitheral at 6:55 AM on May 27, 2005


people have been talking boycott

(i think she was guilty, but that's an excessive sentence--a backlash from all the media attention?)
posted by amberglow at 7:12 AM on May 27, 2005


Well, if I were a travel agent, I certainly would not reccomend travelling to Indonesia, not when the Australia airports are themselves apparently not secure. We aren't allowed to lock our baggage in North America - what are the rules like in Australia?
posted by jb at 7:27 AM on May 27, 2005


This poor girl is going to jail for 20 years for smuggling weed. And you know what? Logically, I know that's wrong, and yet? Emotionally I'm glad.

Because quite frankly the behavior of Aussies in all of this has been ridiculous. Rather then come to grips with the fact that the law is wrong you just assume that because she's good looking she must be innocent!

Also, I don't know about Indonesian law, but here in the US her lawyers could have had the plastic fingerprinted themselves, if they were so sure that she’d never touched it.

The other thing that pissed me off about the whole thing was this constant assumption on the Aussies part that they could just buy off the Indonesians. This smug assumption that they were "better" then the Indonesians, and therefore drugs only flow to Australia. Obviously someone wanted to ship it to Indonesia even if you believe her ridiculous story.

The simple fact is, if an Indonesian girl came to Australia with 9 pounds of weed, you’d do the same thing to her, and not think twice about it.
posted by delmoi at 8:12 AM on May 27, 2005


DirtyCreature writes "s I said previously, I believe, based mostly on instinct, that Schapelle Corby is innocent in a moral sense (i.e. didn't know about the drugs in her bag)."

I am not saying this in connection to her particular case, but you do realize no one ever caught with drugs anywhere in the world knew they were there, don't you? Drug dealers have turn the drug hiding business into an art form, so you now have people carrying drugs in their stomachs or inside their children's toys without ever knowing how those packets got there...

As I said, I am not commenting this particular case. I believe all drug-related convictions are morally wrong, Indonesia is a backwards American sponsored dictatorship and the "War on Drugs" was a mistake from day one. So, I also believe her case much less important than those cases were the Indonesian "terrorist" judges are passing death sentences...
posted by nkyad at 8:50 AM on May 27, 2005


Indonesia is famed for its corruption. While visiting Jakarta once, my driver was pulled over for running a red light (there wasn't even a red light around). The cops were just looking for some cash and since they saw a white (presumably American) guy in the car, I guess I was a target. We paid like $20 - not a lot - but shit like that can really piss you off.

Another thing I know about Indonesians is that they fucking hate Aussies, because Aussies are always trying to get in their business and tell them how to run their country. If the girl were from New Zealand, they probably let her go. But since she's an Aussie, it's a chance to stick it to the whole of Australia.

It seems to me she's obviously guilty. Who would just stash all that weed in her bag? I think a lot of pot-smoking MeFites are just symathizing with a fellow stoner.

20 years is a lot, but that sure was a hell of a lot of weed. What would a sentence for a comparable crime be in the US or Australia?
posted by b_thinky at 9:00 AM on May 27, 2005


I believe all drug-related convictions are morally wrong, Indonesia is a backwards American sponsored dictatorship and the "War on Drugs" was a mistake from day one.

You obviously use drugs. Don't take this as an insult, but I think most non-drug using people would disagree with you on your claim that drug convictions are immoral. It's like me saying taxes are immoral. Most would disagree.

Opinion aside, Indonesia is not a dictatorship. They have a democracy, and even just elected a new president. They were ruled by a dictator, Suharto, until about 97 but since then have elected several presidents. They were all pretty much losers but the new guy, SBY, seems to be a winner. Also, they are quite independant from the United States in terms of policy. In fact, I'd say the relationship between the two countries is somewhat frigid.
posted by b_thinky at 9:08 AM on May 27, 2005


b_thinky writes "You obviously use drugs. Don't take this as an insult, but I think most non-drug using people would disagree with you on your claim that drug convictions are immoral. It's like me saying taxes are immoral. Most would disagree."

So you're saying that the mere defense of a position diverse from the majority is enough for you to pinpoint the habits, or lack thereof, of a complete stranger? For the sake of argument and good manners I will refrain pointing, based on as much evidence as you have to tell me I am a drug user, that you're obviously a moron (don't take this as an insult, but I think most non-moronic people would disagree on your method of drug usage detection).

Just a hint, and let me make it simple so you can understand: the world average opinion about drugs is changing - a large number of otherwise "non-drug using" countries have already decriminalized the possession and use of one or more drugs. Also, comparing victimless crimes to, for instance, tax-evasion is a clear sign you don't understand what you're talking about.

Oh, and yes, I was wrong about the dictatorship part but they are quite independent from the United States in terms of policy is quite a stretch of imagination as they've been jumping in whatever bandwagon Washington tells them to since immemorial times...
posted by nkyad at 9:33 AM on May 27, 2005


Sometimes one needs to be sacrificed for the greater good. It's the liberal way.
posted by HTuttle at 10:24 AM on May 27, 2005


b_thinky wrote You obviously use drugs. Don't take this as an insult, but I think most non-drug using people would disagree with you on your claim that drug convictions are immoral. It's like me saying taxes are immoral. Most would disagree.

I don't know about the orignal poster but I don't use drugs and drug convictions and taxes are immoral.
posted by 6550 at 10:31 AM on May 27, 2005


You obviously use drugs. Don't take this as an insult, but I think most non-drug using people would disagree with you on your claim that drug convictions are immoral. It's like me saying taxes are immoral. Most would disagree.

I don't use drugs (anymore), (well, besides caffeine, beer and the occasional cigar) and I think the way the world treats drug users is totally immoral.
posted by jikel_morten at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2005


I think one could make the argument that some drug convictions are immoral. For instance, if you get busted with 3 ounces of marijuana and are sentenced to years in prison, that's immoral. And on a certain level, people should be able to do whatever they want.

But what about a guy who passes out crack to elementary school kids? Is that a victimless crime? Or the Aussie lady who takes a suitcase full of weed to a foreign country, possibly to distribute to its citizens, and her only defense is "I'm Aussie, our country is better than yours, how dare you prosecute me?" which only adds to the inferiorty complex held my many Indonesians? Victimless? I don't agree.

Hey, if you don't use drugs, I apologize for the accusation. But if you do, I guess I was correct.

As far as the Indonesian gov't following the lead of the US, care to give some examples? For the record, my father-in-law is a former governer of an Indonesian province and two of the daughters of the Indonesian equivelant of Speaker of the House lived in our house while they attended school in the United States. So while I wouldn't label myself as any kind of expert on Indonesian politics, I'd say I do pay casual attention to the subject.
posted by b_thinky at 11:09 AM on May 27, 2005


I don't use drugs, never have, but I am adamently for making pot as legal as alcohol and adamently against the war on drugs. Taxes are fine -- necessary part of society. On preview, Dragging crack, school childen and inferiority complexes into your justification for dismissing drug liberalizers is not appropriate. You have your own issues.
posted by dness2 at 11:19 AM on May 27, 2005


b_thinky, you asked:
20 years is a lot, but that sure was a hell of a lot of weed. What would a sentence for a comparable crime be in the US or Australia?

I did a quick check and according to Attorney Jeralyn Merritt, 4 kilograms of marijuana carries 10 to 16 months in the U.S. federal system.
posted by RichardP at 11:29 AM on May 27, 2005


b_thinky writes "But what about a guy who passes out crack to elementary school kids? Is that a victimless crime? Or the Aussie lady who takes a suitcase full of weed to a foreign country, possibly to distribute to its citizens, and her only defense is 'I'm Aussie, our country is better than yours, how dare you prosecute me?' which only adds to the inferiority complex held my many Indonesians? Victimless? I don't agree"

Do you realize those are crimes that exist only as a consequence of the insane system of rationalization? Selling "crack to elementary school kids" (I have gone to elementary school myself and my son has also - no cocaine dealers in my time, no crack dealers in his - but them it is me, this is repeated so often that probably elementary school kids answer for a large portion of the drug market nowadays) is not much different from selling alcohol or cigarettes near schools. Taking drugs somewhere, to distribute or not, is another even more ridiculous example of the same.


b_thinky writes "Hey, if you don't use drugs, I apologize for the accusation. But if you do, I guess I was correct."

You still don't get it, do you? It is immaterial if I use drugs or not - the point is that "using drugs" is not something you can use as a straw man to deny someone's argument. You yourself uses the term "accusation" - so it is obvious that for you, anyone who uses drugs (and I don't know exactly what this means - heroine, LSD and marijuana are very different substances) are not entitled to discuss the legalization problem. So you know what, I think I will simply consider you another sad misguided person whose only source of information are your government campaigns about how drugs are ending the civilization...
posted by nkyad at 11:37 AM on May 27, 2005




Awarded to b_thinky on this the 27th day of May in the year 2005. For outstanding work in the field of ignorance.
posted by mosch at 12:58 PM on May 27, 2005


what was it that the sister(?) screamed on tv? CNN keeps repeating it but it's unintelligible.
posted by amberglow at 2:15 PM on May 27, 2005


Is this it?

"(I said) you bloody things, you bloody judges won't have another night's sleep," she said.

"Youse (sic) took a word of a bloody liar, one of you people, a customs officer. A liar.

"Our people, our witnesses swore on the bible to tell the truth and they did, but you take a word of one liar. They didn't use our witnesses at all.



Onya mum. She also got stuck into the Australian PM on a current affairs show last night.
posted by emf at 2:54 PM on May 27, 2005


ahhh...thanks.
posted by amberglow at 2:57 PM on May 27, 2005


This story is a horrible tragedy regardless of whether this woman put the weed in her bag or not. Some of the lack of sympathy in the comments here I guess I shouldn't find surprising, but I think you folks must be pretty hard to see the human misery on display here and show such a lack of empathy.

The story is newsworthy, of course, because of the accused being attractive and middle class, and the fact that it's a westerner being "tried" in a foreign country. But the story is not particularly unque. Many women in America are imprisoned for similar terms or longer on drug convictions due to minimum sentencing guidelines.

Here's Mindy Brass, who was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for conspiracy to deliver cocaine (she did ultimately get released).

Here's Sally Smith who was hooked on cocaine by her abusive "boyfriend" at the age of 12, in jail for life (still there).


Here's Elaine Bartlett, who spent 16 years in prison for her first offence.


Table 1 on this page shows the minimum sentencing guidelines in New York for various drug offences.

It's all completely insane, and my only hope that the day we all look back on this madness for what it is is not too many years away.
posted by bowline at 3:47 PM on May 27, 2005


FYI, Shapelle's sister, Mercedes, is married to an Indonesion man and can speak fluent Indonesian. And to add a bit of credibility to her defence, there was a report on some current affair show about a guy who flew to Bali, and when he got to his hotel he opened his bag and found a bag of weed about the size of a loaf of bread. He contacted the Australian Embassy and the advice he was given was to get rid of it, and don't tell the Indonesian authorities because you'll do more harm to yourself than good. So he broke it up into little bits and threw it in a garden.
posted by Jase_B at 3:50 PM on May 27, 2005


>As I said previously, I believe, based mostly on instinct, that Schapelle Corby is innocent
>in a moral sense

What kind of reasoning is that? Since when did instinct take precidence over evidence?


There was a resolution passed unanimously in May of 1997 at the United Nations Legislative Assembly with Latvia and Ecuador abstaining that my instincts "either in published or private form" will "take precedence over any and all evidence presented before a trial court in a criminal prosecution". Statute LN4549.87b for your reference.
posted by DirtyCreature at 5:01 PM on May 27, 2005


nkyad: I never said being on drugs didn't entitle you to an opinion. I'm sorry if you were offended by something I never said.

I think you'll find that most people regard your attitude towards drugs to be insane. Alcohol and tobacco are bad enough and shouldn't be around our children. But you say since they are, that we might as well open them up to the whole world of drugs. So smoking a cigarrette in the Jr. High bathroom is no better or worse than smoking crack?

That's like saying since some people drive 20mph through a 15mph speed zone, we might as well let everyone go 75mph if they want to. There is a word for that: retarded.

In your view, smoking crack at an abandoned house = smoking crack at the mall = smoking crack in your living room. Possessing one ounce of marijuana = possessing 4kg of marijuana = possessing 4kg of marijuana and travelling internationally with it.

What I, and other reasonable people argue, is that while you can never eliminate all drugs, you can keep them as fucking far away from me and my kids as possible.

Most people are afraid of what they do not know. Those who have not used drugs tend to be afraid of them. You seem to not have any fear of drugs, which is why I assumed you use or have used in the past. Please accept my apologies for any offense this assumption caused.

I have not used drugs in the past, but know people who do. They're all pretty much losers who aren't on any sort or road to success, unless that success is defined as getting high every day.
posted by b_thinky at 5:50 PM on May 27, 2005


"But what about a guy who passes out crack to elementary school kids?"

What? For fun? Hey kiddies, free crack!

Ya know, he could sell it to people with money, but no, he wanders into grade school and passes it out like candy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:36 PM on May 27, 2005


Perhaps we can move on to a discussion of the future.

Both side have said they will appear. The Prosecution says they will appeal because 20 years is too little.

I assume that what will actually happen to La Corby is that she'll spend a couple of years in jail in Indo, then there'll be some kind of deal struck where she returns to Australia in exchange for some Indonesian crims in our jails going back there. Two years after that we'll very quietly let her out for "good behaviour" or something.

Some random thoughts:

* The most interesting thing I heard in the news yesterday is that essentially she has a crap lawyer. Her family contacted the embassy who gave her a list of lawyers and they just took the first one who answered the phone -- at something like 7PM on a Friday night. Picking the first lawyer who answers the phone after hours on the weekend is not your best bet, I would assume. The firm mostly does family law and her lawyer only graduated 5 years ago.

* Why does everyone go on and on about the "squalor" of the jail. It looks perfectly fine to me. I've stayed in hotels worse than that in south-east asia.

* Funniest thing said so far about this case and the "Bali Nine" -- Australia built Bali a hospital after the bombing: if so many Australian are going to end up incarcerated over there, maybe we should build them a nice new jail instead...
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:51 PM on May 27, 2005


b_thinky: I have not used drugs in the past, but know people who do. They're all pretty much losers who aren't on any sort or road to success, unless that success is defined as getting high every day.

I have many friends with careers ranging from finance to neurobiology who are regular pot smokers, and being a pot smoker has not impeded me in my pursuit of a ph.d. in mathematics. Not to say that the statistical sample provided by your friends amounts to evidence of anything. I think it's pretty reasonable and consistent to expect that 1) things should be made illegal only if they harm someone (not counting wopping someone on the head with a bag of weed), and 2) laws should be designed to minimize harm. So for instance, it may be reasonable to make crack illegal, but it is possible that having that many kids grow up with parents in jail or amid drug-prohibition-induced violence is more harmful overall.
posted by Astragalus at 6:53 PM on May 27, 2005


I have many friends with careers ranging from finance to neurobiology who are regular pot smokers, and being a pot smoker has not impeded me in my pursuit of a ph.d. in mathematics.

Exactly. I only smoke pot to 'bring up the average' to give more weight to my decriminalization arguments. It's not even that great, really.

Now shrooms, on the other hand...
posted by delmoi at 8:40 PM on May 27, 2005


b_thinky writes "I think you'll find that most people regard your attitude towards drugs to be insane. Alcohol and tobacco are bad enough and shouldn't be around our children. But you say since they are, that we might as well open them up to the whole world of drugs. So smoking a cigarette in the Jr. High bathroom is no better or worse than smoking crack? "

You will find, if you care to look around, that there are a lot of people who thinks adult human beings can very well decide for themselves what they can or cannot put into their bodies without government interference. That's what we're discussing here, seriously - you don't come out very well insisting on examples designed just to shock. Nobody, hear well, nobody is defending the distribution of drugs to kids - just as nobody defends the elementary school cafeteria should sell beer. We're talking about adults deciding what they want to do without harming anyone else.

"In your view, smoking crack at an abandoned house = smoking crack at the mall = smoking crack in your living room. Possessing one ounce of marijuana = possessing 4kg of marijuana = possessing 4kg of marijuana and travelling internationally with it. "

Probably more like in your insane reading of what I wrote - I never said that. I believe I have not even wrote the word "crack" in my answers to you. And if anyone supports the identities you propose it seems to be you, by your own words on the subject.

"What I, and other reasonable people argue, is that while you can never eliminate all drugs, you can keep them as fucking far away from me and my kids as possible."

No, you and other ignorant people think the way to keep children and drugs apart is to enact more and more laws putting more and more people in jail and giving more and more power to the enforcement agencies, instead of doing your jobs and educating your children correctly so they're strong enough to make their own decisions and to know their own limits. You can see where this attitude is taking us by looking at your local government statistics almost anywhere in the world.

b_thinky writes "I have not used drugs in the past, but know people who do. They're all pretty much losers who aren't on any sort or road to success, unless that success is defined as getting high every day."

Either you must have known many people badly mistreated by life or you're simply wishing these people will not do anything with their life. I could, on the other hand, present you with a large crowd of very successful adult people who currently use drugs or have use them in the past. While "drugs" is too general a term to describe the whole host of substances we're talking about, there's no causal link between drug use and being a "loser".

I am quite more radical than Astragalus in this subject: I think all drugs should be made legal, their production and distribution delivered as is to the pharmaceutical/food industry and the convenient taxes to be applied. A small percentage of the taxes could be diverted to the treatment of addiction. The current laws applied to alcohol can be extended to all drugs, so harming people or property under the influence of drugs carry the same penalties. And I don't think the world would end...
posted by nkyad at 8:55 PM on May 27, 2005


I am so high right now..
posted by Balisong at 9:49 PM on May 27, 2005


As an Australian, I am amazed at this response. Finally, something has jarred my lackadaisical countrymen’s self absorbed arses away from their consumerist narcosis, and there is a broad based concern with something other than credit card debt and its relationship with potential interest rate rises.

I have become utterly disgusted with the views of fellow Australians with particular regard to our treatment of refugees , which generally seem to be a gestalt based inability to effectively empathise, which seems to be reflected in the Corby situation. Bad/worse things happen to people in Australia daily, but in general, no one seems to care – until now. We didn't care when Lindy Chamberlain was jailed for life principally because she was a devil worshipping Seventh Day Adventist – which was out of accord with our traditional religious beliefs, and people genuinely believed that to be prima facie in determining her guilt. In fact, the only reason the immigration scandal mentioned above, gathered momentum, was purely because an Australian was incorrectly detained and subsequently exposed to the very same treatment and facilities that in excess of 70 children endure daily at the Baxter and other detention centres run by Australia.

It's reminiscent of the saving Private Lynch manifestation the Americans used early in the Iraq war to garner support. There are some interesting political twists to this, however, and it’s worth watching the sleazy little bigot we maintained in office based on his fear based racist policies, as the very people he appealed to, and who put him in office, are now demanding all the things the left wanted when we jumped into the WMD debacle.

And now we want to withhold aid to the tsunamis victims.... I love a sunburnt country.

posted by strawberryviagra at 5:43 AM on May 28, 2005


wow. You sure went to some trouble there strawberryviagra and it's a dead thread essentially. I somehow doubt that there's anything much I'd too strongly disagree with. You could quite easily have brought in an underlying hostility to indigenous folk in the broad brush portrayal of persistent racism here. Ignorance is a common currency unfortunately.

Although I'd be foisting in a heavy emphasis on the role of the media. While I may have criticized DirtyCreature upthread for their nonsensical arguments, there was more than a glimmer of truth in their hostility towards our heavily concentrated media groups. Perhaps it's a bit of a chicken and egg concept but I think the flames of lowest common denominator thinking would not burn so bright if they weren't being fanned by the hyped up coverage - and that's an across the board criticism whether considering Corby, Chamberlain or Mabo by way of examples. I don't watch telly anymore or hardly ever read newspapers. I get my input from the net and up until the beginning of this year I'd been in Asia most of the last few years so the rabid publicizing of all stories in all media just drives me nuts. And I do love this land of Oz, just not so much a big bunch of people living on it.
posted by peacay at 7:36 AM on May 28, 2005


peacay the reason you did not get direct meaningful responses from me was because all you wanted to do was criticize the way I expressed myself instead of arguing the case being presented. Your final comment to me about losing a "potential listener" was just the height of silliness. This approach of gathering and processing your information on the basis of your perceptions of the credibility of a speaker rather than by processing information statement-by-statement is the underlying cause of the blind allegiance of much of the public to mass media in the first place. They simply refuse to think. Sadly, I don't think the situation is that much different in the online world either. Readers attach themselves to bloggers whose thoughts have some resonance with their ill-formed opinions and consequently decide to let them do their own thinking for them.

There is one source of evidence that gives me hope about my fellow citizens however, and leads me to believe the source of the present misconceptions is the media itself and not the public. Reading through the comments of public contributors to The Age and to News.com.au one finds that the majority of comments are quite critical of the media and of the vocal minority's reaction to the verdict. Furthermore, two polls pre and post verdict in the Sydney Morning Herald show that a majority don't accept that she is necessarily innocent.

This leads me to a perception of the media as pandering to the most outspoken minority on any particular issue. Where there is a large enough portion of the citizenry strongly upset, there is controversy, there is reaction and there is readership.
posted by DirtyCreature at 3:08 PM on May 29, 2005


DirtyCreature writes "peacay the reason you did not get direct meaningful responses from me was because all you wanted to do was criticize the way I expressed myself instead of arguing the case being presented"

Bullshit. I reasonably asked wtf you were going on about. The only time you attempted to present something sensical was in your last post. You were snide and you expect people to understand what you're trying to say? For god's sake, get over the chip you seem to have on your shoulder. If I wasn't trying to understand you, why would I ask? Why wouldn't I just criticize and not ask? And then you go to the dubious length of projecting my comments into being of an ilk that are formed from a narrow group of bloggers. Again, why the fuck would I seek to draw you out if it wasn't trying to get more of your thoughts on the table? I pushed no barrow in this thread and stated that I didn't have an opinion about the Corby case. But I just asked you to elucidate and you decided I could only have negative reasons or something.
Don't you see that you had an opportunity to put up a reasoned argument and you basically blew it? You think I wanted to just criticize your wording and forget the points behind it - but that's patently untrue. In the end I acknowledged that there was a hint of truth in what you had said. But you didn't make any points very well. That's just a waste of typing quite frankly if the hope was to convince somebody of anything. oy vay.
posted by peacay at 7:36 PM on May 30, 2005



posted by peacay at 8:17 PM on May 30, 2005


well, if anyone is still reading this thread:

You will find, if you care to look around, that there are a lot of people who thinks adult human beings can very well decide for themselves what they can or cannot put into their bodies without government interference. That's what we're discussing here, seriously

Actually, the rules of any society tell us that adult human beings CANNOT do as they please. For the greater good of everyone, we must prevent others in our community from engaging in reckless and immoral behavior.

Example: I want to drive 100mph through the city. Hey, I'm a good driver with a nice car. It has good handling and braking. I should be able to do it, right? Nope, it's illegal, and should be for the safety of others.

Example II: I'm an adult, I have a job and I make my own money. I should be free to keep whatever I want and pay whatever I want (which, incidentally, is nothing) in taxes. Since I'm a sound-minded adult this should not be a problem, right? Well, actually it's illegal because our society requires money from boobs like me to build roads and schools and stuff.


Example III: I want to use drugs, which impair my judgement and reflexes. They're also highly addictive and may prevent me from choosing the proper time and place to use my drugs. Then I become a danger to lots of people, not just myself. So that, too, should not be legal.
posted by b_thinky at 11:05 AM on May 31, 2005


You think I wanted to just criticize your wording and forget the points behind it - but that's patently untrue.

You just typed another 16 sentences doing exactly what I said you were doing. Again your post contained no relevant information to this thread whatsoever. Get out of your shell and understand that this platform is about contributing for the benefit of others - it's not all about you. I'm not playing anymore - this is a complete waste of people's time. Over and out.


Interesting final tidbit for others - Schapelle Corby has just signed on celebrity agent Harry
M Miller
to represent her. Note to self : next time in court, remember to practise eye-catching photo opportunities during recess.
posted by DirtyCreature at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2005


DirtyCreature writes "understand that this platform is about contributing for the benefit of others"

That's among the most asinine contributions I've ever come across. This place is about whatever anyone wants to posit, suggest, tubthump, snark or otherwise obliquely infer.

I won't be taking this to other threads in the future. I don't believe in holding grudges. But you should have a think about your communication style unless you want your contributions to be mostly seen as irrelevances. Just because I ask a question does not imply that I regard the subject matter to be about me. Asking questions and seeking further information is one of the most effective ways to contribute to discussions. And done.
posted by peacay at 8:23 PM on May 31, 2005


Aussie Compassion Scoreboard (Latest)
----------------------------------------

Scrawny little Asian guy : 6
Pretty buxom Caucasian sweety : 3020

Innocent Asian girl who served 10 years in a Melbourne jail and is still not pardoned : 0
posted by DirtyCreature at 1:55 AM on June 1, 2005


I have not used drugs in the past, but know people who do. They're all pretty much losers who aren't on any sort or road to success, unless that success is defined as getting high every day.

I could introduce you to recreational drug users who are successful doctors, lawyers, bank executives, stock traders, business owners and a host of other successful professionals.

Maybe you just hang out with losers.
posted by mosch at 1:15 AM on June 4, 2005


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