First things first- and as I have said previously- I have no firm view as to whether Schapelle Corby is really guilty or not, and only Schapelle knows that for sure.
But, let's face it it was no real surprise that that she was found guilty. Despite the media induced outpouring of public emotion and anger that her 20 year jail sentence has caused (even on my own blog), based on everything that was presented during her trial, her conviction was hardly a source of astonishment
But for goodness sakes, some of the rubbish that people are coming out with is beyond crazy. Let's look at some of the comments that are being frequently made by people following the verdict and sentencing.
"We know she is innocent"
Why are so many people absolutely convinced that she is innocent? What evidence have they seen that I haven't that gives them so much conviction? I haven't read through a transcript of her trial and am reliant on the information I have read in the press and online, but I am yet to read anything that provides unquestioning evidence of her innocence. It seems that just because most of us wouldn't try to smuggle drugs into another country, we assume that someone who looks like us (young Aussie surfer girl) wouldn't be as dumb either. The media have represented Corby as some kind of girl next door. It is an absurdity to think that common citizens are incapable of criminality.
I even heard someone say that she doesn't "look" guilty.... whatever that means.
If anyone who can provide me with such overwhelming proof of her innocence, I welcome you to give it to me.
"The trial was unfair"
The Indonesian Justice system is different to ours, and thus the trial might seem unfair by our standards, but why does that necessarily make it unfair? I think the trial was fair. Defence got a "fair" hearing, as did the prosecution. The judges made a decision based on the what the heard. Like it or not, we must accept the that the Indonesian system functions as it does.
However, I do think that her defence team could have done a better job, but that doesn't mean that the whole trial was unfair, surely?
(I'll have some more to say about her defence later in the week)
"Let's demand our Tsunami aid back"
What a ridiculous, pathetic and counterproductive comment to make. The reasons why should be evident to anyone with even a modest sense of intelligence.
"The Government should have done more"
Like what? It is not the role of Governments to interfere in the judicial systems of other nations. There is absolutely no way we would not tolerate the reverse, ie Indonesia poking it's nose into the way we deal with alleged criminal offenders. There would be widespread outrage if that happened.
As for calls that the Australian Government should "just bring her home" are naive in the extreme.
She got the normal level of assistance any Australian citizen would receive if they were in her position, and perhaps a little bit more. Just because it is not splashed across the front page of the newpapers, doensn't mean that the Government did not use every channel, every influence available to them to assist Schapelle. But at the end of the day, they can't influence a court, whether it is our courts or a foreign court.
So what more should our Government have done exactly? And why are they a source of fault in all of this? I also think that it's worth remembering that in broad diplomatic terms Indonesia is our friend.
"We should protest and boycott Bali/Indonesia"
Many people have already cancelled trips to Bali, and several protests and rallies are planned for this week. But why? As Tony asks, should we persecute the Balinese people over this? Such a response is the product of the emotional "she's innocent- the trial was unfair" line of argument. In such a context it makes sense. But move away from that for a moment and tell me why boycotting Bali is helpful to anything? It is counterproductive and just portrays us Australians in a pretty poor light.
In conclusion, let me say that I have as much sympathy for Corby as the next person, but I refuse to buy into all the hysteria when it flies in the face of the facts and common sense.
Anyone who wants to counter any of my thoughts is welcome to use the comments area.