There must, surely, be days when Schapelle Corby wishes she's sucked it up, admitted guilt and thrown herself upon the mercy of the Indonesian legal system, and in due course, applied for a pardon, or the mercy of the king or something or other - there is a process, and apparently it works, but one must admit guilt before requesting redemption. I figure Corby would have been out within ten years. Sure, her life would have still been screwed, a happy hubby and a swag of kiddies a thought long gone, but not a life entirely over.
For long stretches we hear nothing about Corby, then suddenly she pops up again, as breathless journalists report her latest hairstyle, what she ate on her birthday, and trips to hospital to have treatment for ongoing depression.
Hell, what's not to be depressed about?
You don't get to traffic drugs, end up in a godforsaken foreign jail and expect to have a damned fine time of it. Our own jails aren't a barrel of laffs either.
Within all the sympathetic bleating over the health and well being of Corby, another Australian drug trafficker is never mentioned: Renae Lawrence.
Lawrence is also serving twenty years. Let's take a small wager that she too gets new hair cuts from time to time, and a slightly bigger wager that she too suffers some level of sadness and deep distress at the way her life has turned out, being as it is in the same jail that Corby calls home.
Never once have the trash mags or the newspapers featured Lawrence on the cover, accompanied by a story about her well being and anguish. No one gives a shit. I guess that's what happens if you're a large girl and not obviously attractive. Who knows how Lawrence looks now. Thinner, I imagine, but we haven't seen any photo's of her since I can't remember when.
Corby has relatives living in Indonesia, who visit constantly, provide her with food and anything within reason that she's permitted to have in jail. I have no idea if Lawrence has visitors, but she certainly doesn't have family living there to help sustain her. It's Corby who continues to garner all the Australian sympathy though. Feigning innocence has staying power.
I've always thought that Lawrence would head home before Corby. No small irony. The former had more than 8 kilos of heroin about her person, while the latter had only 4.2 kilos of weed tucked in with her boogy board. Initially Corby got life, or something ridiculous, eventually reduced to twenty years on appeal. Lawrence plead guilty from the get-go, took her twenty years, and has not said a word since. Mind you, our journalists haven't beaten a path to her cell seeking a word either.
This week, another few months might be shaved from each of their sentences, an annual tradition in Indonesia.
So far, Lawrence, who was arrested a year after Corby, has accrued more credits than Corby. Every little bit helps. Every month a little closer to freedom.
Whenever I see yet another hand-wringing story about our poor Schapelle, I always wonder how Renae Lawrence is holding up. At least she knows she was guilty. Perhaps that lightens the burden of her time in an Indonesian jail.