June 04, 2005

Corby vs. Bashir

Schapelle Corby, Australian model, hairdresser, surfer and convicted marijuana enthusiast, got twenty years in prison from an Indonesian court for being caught with the substance. Abu Bakar Bashir was the mastermind of the plot to murder almost a hundred Australians at a nightclub in Bali, and his sentence from an Indonesian court was 30 months.

Unless there's some hideously unfortunate recent change to the drug laws, a fundamentally stupid loophole for terrorist conspirators, or a substantive philosophical discrepancy between the courts trying the two people in question, I'd say that Indonesia considers being caught with marijuana eight times worse than blowing tons of tourists to death. Gosh, just the ramifications on the tourism industry alone have got to be bad.

After Bali and the tsunami, you'd hope Indonesians would realize the effect this sort of thing has on their chances of really restarting their tourism industry. Here's hoping that the duly-empowered authorities in Indonesia will commute Corby's sentence in the interests of proportional justice, international comity and Australian tourists' cash.

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