Wednesday, 20 April 2005

A Stupid Defence - no personal responsibility for criminal behaviour

Wednesday, 20th April 2005  - Richard Farmer 
There is something wonderfully refreshing about the Indonesian legal system. Defence lawyers do not go into attempts to shift the blame from their clients with long descriptions of deprived child hoods and years of abuse. They just make statements of the obvious. Like today when the counsel for two of those arrested as heroin couriers described them as: “Stupid. Just stupid.”
The point was to disassociate the two from any involvement in the planning of the attempt to import heroin into Australia. They were simply simple couriers without the intelligence to understand the risks they were taking let alone develop the strategy to be an importer. The lawyer’s advice to her clients was that spilling the beans was the only way to avoid the death penalty.
No wonder the Australian Federal police were happy enough for their Indonesian colleagues to make the catch. It will avoid three or four years of listening to Sydney criminal lawyers giving reasons why personal responsibility no longer applies.
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