Scott's Life in Bangkwang Prison - Thailand

Why I Wrote to Scott and Why I Want to Support Scott

It was several months ago whilst browsing the internet that I came across Scott's website.  Reading the opening pages made me wonder whether I wanted to get involved.  Drugs and Thai law do not mix well.  I lived in Thailand for nearly a year back in the early 1990's so I have 'some' knowledge of how the system works there.  I also spent ten days in one of their jails for an immigration offence so I have a 'very' small idea of what prison life is like over there but having never touched a recreational drug in my life and not agreeing with the trafficking of them - it made me think.

I read through his site ... and I read it again ... and again.  This Guy seems to have made a mistake, a big one - resulting in a thirty year sentence for taking a small amount of drugs over the Thai/Cambodia border.  What a huge awakener for him.  Can 'you' imagine being faced with a possible death sentence?  Can you imagine how lonely he must have felt, how scared he must have felt and how guilty he must have felt putting his Family through such pain and horror?  I try to imagine it but repel from the emotions I feel welling up inside.

Scott and his Family are asking the public and Governments to help him get a reduction to his sentence.  Why should 'we' help?

The first reason 'I' saw was that his sentence was very harsh.  The second reason I saw was that he seemed to have accepted he had done wrong, was not complaining that he had gone to jail and was attempting to turn his life around - for the good.  The third reason was that Scott had the ability to ask the King of Thailand for a 'Royal Pardon', resulting in a reduction to his sentence and the fourth reason that there was a law in place, 'The Tarrif Law'  that 'could' allow Scott an early release on his return to an English jail.  I guess the fifth reason is that when someone is asking for help ... why not listen to what they have got to say?

I have written to people in prison before, mostly through Amnesty International letter writing campaigns, and whilst in foreign lands I have often visited people in jails and tried to be of help in some small way.  I have only written to Scott a few times, and he has always replied.  I haven't written a great deal in my letters but felt compelled to be 'one of many' who would like to see a positive outcome to a horrendous situation.

Having read through Scott's story one comes to the conclusion that he has 'some' options.

  1. He can collect 1000 signatures from the general public to submit to the UK government who in turn would submit ann appliaction to the King of Thailand asking for a Royal Pardon.  Through his web site and with the help of family and friends and "Facebook" Scott has now passed this figure and I know his family are trying to push this process along.  The good thing about being given a King's Pardon is that you can be released from prison early.  The bad thing about a King's Pardon is that it can take 5 years to process and then another 4 or 5 years before the King makes a descision.  Having said this is a "bad thing" it would really mean a great reduction in Scott's sentence .... but does Scott really need to spend another 10 or 20 or so years in jail to learn his lesson?  Thai law says so/British law says so.  I don't think so.
  2. What gives me more hope for Scott's possibility of a realistic 'early release' is the existence of the 'Tarrif Law'.  To understand this properly look under the 'Support Scott' heading and then in the sub heading 'Write to Your MP'.

Scott has been given a fixed sentence of thirty years.  If or when Scott is transferred to an English jail because he has a fixed sentence this sentence will stand on his return.  However, if he had been given a life sentence, Scott's sentence would then come into line with the equivalent sentence had it been given in the UK in the first place.  If this happened, which it has to other people, a person with a life sentence having committed a very serious crime can end up serving a shorter sentence than a person having committed a lesser offence.  Again, if I am right, and I think I am, Scott's sentence for the equivalent offence if committed in the UK would have been far shorter than his Thai sentence.  In this case, if the same rule was applied Scott would quite probably be released immediately or shortly after his return to the UK.

Again if I am right, most other Countries no longer support the idea of continuing fixed sentence when their Countrymen/women return to their home countries.

This is why I wish to support Scott in his quest for a change in his sentence on his 'possible' return to the UK.  There seems to be a policy, 'THE TARRIF LAW' that is not adhered to unilaterally.  I must admit this law seems to be quite confusing but again I know the Family are doing their utmost to unravel it's complexities and to try and use it to allow Scott to be treated in a similar way to other people from other nationalities.

I know that Scott's Family and Friend's are working very hard to try and get Scott an earlier release date - not just because he is 'Family'  but because they see a flaw in the system.  I hate drugs.  I would never use them but having read Scott's story I cannot believe he will want to do the same thing again.  Writing to Scott is easy:

His address is in the sub heading 'Write to Scott' in the 'Support Scott' section.

If you have the time please read and re read his story and see if you would like to support Scott's quest for an earlier release.  There is absolutely no pressure for you to do so - but if you want to it could make a very big difference to a lot of people.

Simon

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