This month Australian news went wild with the story of a 14 year old New South Wales boy who was arrested for carrying 3.6 grams of marijuana in Bali.
Whilst holidaying with his family, the boy allegedly purchased the drugs and was caught – leading to an arrest and even time spent in the jail cells of Kerobokan Prison.
Today, he was finally released and placed in a detention center as he waits final verdict on his case. Lawyers came forward to reporters today explaining that he could end up having to serve so much as six years if he is found guilty.
Is this too harsh? We all well and truly know that the laws in these places are strict and have unpleasant punishments. We all saw what happened to Schapelle Corby who is still carrying out her sentence overseas. But it’s their laws. And as harsh and as strict as they are, we have to respect and follow them when we step foot into their country.
In saying this, this young man was exactly that – young. 14 years old, and obviously oblivious to the chaos his actions would cause, he purchased drugs whilst there without thinking twice. I mean, we’ve all made stupid mistakes as young teenagers – you’re too young to fully consider what the consequences might mean. If the allegations are correct, then is six years a little too harsh for a punishment? It’s not like the kid gets to go into a juvenile center with other teenagers, but he goes into prison. He serves six years in a poor conditioned prison with criminals that have done ten times the amount of crime he has.
Imagine that – being 14, making the mistake of buying a small amount of drugs that were obviously going to be used personally whilst on holiday, and ending up in jail for six years. Terrifying, yes?
Fortunately, the government are trying everything they can to get the boy home, and lessen his punishments. While many people seem to be complaining that not enough is being done, what is there that we can really do? Fight them and disrespect their laws, and the poor boy will end up in there for triple the time. Kevin Rudd has been trying his best to negotiate and come to agreements over the situation – stepping up and doing what he can to lessen the verdict. Hopefully this child is sent back home safely, at least to serve his punishments here.