Friday, June 17, 2011
The Lighter Side: Proving your innocence, Socrates-style
While not "funny," this story provides a good example of the sometimes farcical nature of Indonesia's criminal justice system. One of Indonesia's most notorious human rights cases is the 2004 murder of human rights activist Munir aboard a Garuda Airlines flight. According to The Jakarta Post, Pollycarpus, the convicted murderer, has now offered to drive arsenic to prove his innocence.* In particular, he claims that he would drink the amount of arsenic that allegedly was used to kill Munir. Aside from the fact that this wouldn't do much to prove his innocence (it would do nothing to demonstrate that he did not intend to kill Munir), the judges treated his proposal skeptically. My favorite response: "Not in here. You can do it somewhere else if you wish." Somehow I doubt he'll follow that advice.
* Obviously, Socrates drank hemlock as part of his punishment, not to prove his innocence. Nonetheless, I suspect Pollycarpus' proposal was meant in a similarly defiant light.