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Monday, June 30, 2008

Not Our Problem

posted by on June 30 at 15:28 PM

Tonight HBO is showing Ganja Queen, a documentary about an Australian who lands in Bali, only to be arrested for smuggling four kilos of marijuana in her luggage. But Schapelle Corby claims, convincingly, that she didn’t do it. Here’s the trailer:

It begins: “Have you ever traveled outside the U.S.? … Then this could happen to you.” Oh, the unfairness. The tragedy. The corruption of the justice system… Over there.

No one would be prosecuted without evidence and convicted to a life sentence at the hands of a corrupt justice system here in America, right? Except, of course, for this horrible thing that happened in Tulia, Texas, where 40 black people were rounded up based on the word of one paid informant. But I guess no one would make a documentary about it… Or, in fact, they would.

The difference is that the film about Tulia is relegated to the indie film circuit, while the film about Bali has a prime-time spot on a major cable TV station. Why isn’t HBO showing the other gripping documentary about people wrongly accused of drug crimes? You know, the one that shows this isn’t the product of some fundamentally corrupt foreign nation but the product of a fundamentally corrupt drug policy?

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That Mrs. Corby was possibly facing the death penalty and the fact that this was an international incident may, possibly, make for a more interesting and compelling documentary.

Posted by Burgin99 | June 30, 2008 3:50 PM

Probably because the bulk of the folks prosecuted in Tulia were black while Schapelle Corby is an attractive white woman.

Posted by jess | June 30, 2008 3:51 PM

Agreed, we do tend to have an easier time examining these issues from a distance. However, @1's point is the one I'd make. I haven't heard of anyone being executed in the US for any quantity of marijuana (I'd be interested to know if that's not the case).

Posted by Lauren | June 30, 2008 4:30 PM

I've never found Corby's claim of innocence to be all that convicing.
And as for attractive, have you seen a photo of her? Depends on your definition, I suppose.
Not that I agree with the length of sentence or penalties imposed upon her or the others accused of drug trafficking in Indonesia. But innocent? Lets not distract from the issue of outrageous penalties etc by muddying the water with problematic contentions of innocence.

Posted by ozchick | June 30, 2008 6:29 PM

Good Point, but:

Presently, the Tulia 46 drug sting event is in movie production Tulia by Paramount Pictures, directed by John Singleton and starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry, scheduled for release in 2009.[10]

Posted by CanuckSlog | June 30, 2008 8:53 PM

Also, HBO just got done with about 60 hours of "The drug war (and America) is fucked."

Posted by UnoriginalAndrew | June 30, 2008 11:21 PM

The Tulia documentary is premiering on PBS Independent Lens, and PBS is certainly more accessible to the general public than HBO.

Posted by lime joy | July 1, 2008 9:09 AM

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