Life after Mercy

It’s just after midnight in New York. Matthew Sleeth, a Melbourne artist who divides his time between the two cities, is wide awake.

‘At first I just wanted it to go away.’ The crackle isn’t the Skype connection. Sleeth has had some time to grieve and reflect, but his voice is still troubled, his words haunted.

In April 2005, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were arrested, along with the seven other members of the ‘Bali 9’, for attempting to smuggle heroin from Indonesia to Australia.

Sleeth made many trips to Kerobokan prison, first as an art and theatre instructor, organised by the ‘Mercy’ support campaign. Later, he just visited as Myuran and Andrew’s friend.

‘People say “they were drug dealers” well yes they were, that’s the point, rehabilitation doesn’t mean starting out perfect and ending perfect, it means starting out flawed … insight only comes after you have fucked up really badly, unfortunately it doesn’t come sitting in a lounge chair at home.’

Read more — full story at the Alternative Law Journal

First publishd in the Alternative Law Journal.

Cite as (2016) 41(3) AltLJ 220