Christian inmates to get sentence cuts

Ni Komang Erviani ,   The Jakarta Post,  Denpasar   |  Fri, 12/26/2008 11:21 AM  |  Bali

Christian inmates at Bali’s largest prison, Kerobokan Penitentiary in Denpasar, including some foreign drug smugglers, are in line to receive between sentence reductions of 15 to 30 days this Christmas.

Well-known “Ganja Queen” Leigh Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence of the Bali Nine were among 31 inmates who had not received their remissions on Christmas Day due to administrative delay.

“We’re just waiting to receive the letter of approval (for the remaining 31) from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights,” warden Yon Suharyono said Thursday during Christmas festivities at the prison.

During the celebration, Suharyono announced that 28 inmates would receive sentence reductions on that day.

He said the prison had put in a request for reductions for 59 inmates. The remaining 31 who had not received approval were convicted of special crimes including drug smuggling, corruption and cybercrime.

“But it’s very certain that they’ll receive the sentence reduction, the letter just hasn’t arrived yet,” he said.

Corby and Lawrence will almost certainly receive 30-day sentence reductions for Christmas since the prison had specifically requested a 30-day remission for each.

Both are serving a 20-year jail term for smuggling marijuana into Bali.

The reduction will be Corby’s third after the ones received in 2006 and in August this year in commemoration of Indonesia’s Independence Day.

If the 30-day remissions are approved, Corby should be free by March 2024, while Lawrence should be free by April 2024.

Lawrence is the only one from the Bali Nine, in line to receive a sentence reduction. The Bali Nine are nine Australians convicted in 2005 of smuggling drugs into the country.

“I’m just glad,” Lawrence said, who successfully appealed her original life sentence to be reduced to 20 years.

Another foreign inmate in line to receive a 30-day sentence reduction is U.S. citizen Derrick Arthur Weston, who was also found guilty of drug smuggling.

Inmates who have served at least six months and who are not sentenced to either life imprisonment or death normally receive sentence reductions during national holidays and some religious holidays.

Hermansyah, a convicted theft who was sentenced to eight months in prison, was set free after receiving a 15-day sentence reduction.

Hermansyah said he was happy to finally be free. “It’s a Christmas gift for me.”

About erviani

Jatuh cinta dengan dunia jurnalistik sejak bergabung dengan Lembaga Pers Mahasiswa Indikator, Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Brawijaya. Sempat bekerja untuk Harian Warta Bali, 2003 - 2005, Koresponden Majalah GATRA untuk wilayah Bali, anggota redaksi Media HIV/AIDS dan Narkoba KULKUL, TPI, dan Koran Seputar Indonesia. Menulis lepas kini menjadi aktivitas keseharian. Kini aktif sebagai kontributor untuk beberapa media yakni Bali Daily-The Jakarta Post, Mongabay Indonesia, dan Khabat Southeast Asia.
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