Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Young and foolish

The two young women -Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid, accused of drug smuggling have now appeared in court and admitted to being guilty of the crime.

If they had continued to claim to be innocent, they would have spent more time in jail awaiting trial and could have been sentenced to fifteen years. Because they have now pleaded guilty, their sentence will be reduced to six years and eight months. I can only assume that is the difference between the minimum and maximum sentences imposed for the crime. 

The girls hope to be able to carry out the sentences back in Britain but that is by no means certain. They will need to show they behaved well in jail, pass 'legal, social, medical and psychological tests' and fund their own tickets home. According to legal sources, a transfer could take many years, by which time they could be free. It is a very long process and Britain does not often agree to it.

Apart from their families, the girls can expect little support from Britain. For example, attempts to drum up support for Irish-born McCollum after her arrest failed to garner support with the public back in Northern Ireland. A legal fighting fund to raise cash for her defence had to be shut down after it received only about £600 from public donations.

Their only hope is to be able to help the authorities in Peru to track down those that organised the drug trafficking. From their position in prison, I imagine that will be an almost impossible task.

The two girls should be grateful that they were not caught with that amount of cocaine in Bali where things would have been a lot worse for them. In my opinion, those that are involved with drugs in any way deserve what they get. 

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