Supreme Court: 5 years prison for elderly mushroom pickers

Supreme Court: 5 years prison for elderly mushroom pickers

Udom Sirisorn, 54, and his wife Daeng, 51, of Non Sa-ard village in Kalasin’s Huai Mek district, arrive at the Kalasin provincial court to hear the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday morning. The court sentenced them to five years in jail each, reducing their terms from 15 years. (Photo by Yongyuth Phupuangphet)
Udom Sirisorn, 54, and his wife Daeng, 51, of Non Sa-ard village in Kalasin’s Huai Mek district, arrive at the Kalasin provincial court to hear the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday morning. The court sentenced them to five years in jail each, reducing their terms from 15 years. (Photo by Yongyuth Phupuangphet)

Off to prison for 5 years for elderly couple told to confess to illegal logging to get mercy of the court, reduced from 30 years in prison.

THE LAW, PUNISHMENT & INEQUALITY

Supreme Court: 5 years prison for elderly mushroom pickers

2/05/2017
Yongyut Phupuangphet

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reduced the prison sentences given a mushroom-picking couple from 15 years to five years each for forest encroachment.

Earlier the elderly couple had been set free pending an appeal of their prison sentence, read previous article here & watch video of their emotional release from prison below.

The imprisonment of of the elderly couple poses a dramatic contrast with mega-wealthy Red Bull heir "Boss Yoovidhya" who has been able to avoid trial and any form of justice for killing a police officer (see here & here).

WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED SEVEN YEARS AGO?

The elderly couple named Udom and Daeng were arrested on July 12, 2010 after they rode their motorcycle to Dong Ranang National Park to collect wild mushrooms.

In the same area, authorities were moving in on a group of illegal loggers, who got away.

Udom and Daeng also fled in fear upon learning of the raid, leaving behind their motorcycle.

ELDERLY COUPLE ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL LOGGING OF 700 TREES

An emotional reunion after a difficult time in prison

Officials found their motorcycle and traced it back to the couple, who were apprehended soon after on charges of illegal logging.

Forestry officials accused them of felling about 700 trees over a 72-rai area of the protected forest.

30 YEARS IN JAIL, HALVED TO 15 YEARS BECAUSE THEY CONFESSED

On Sept 26, 2011, the provincial court sentenced them to 30 years in jail.

The sentences were halved after they confessed.

They were released on bail and appealed the ruling.

They insisted they had not felled any trees, and had gone into the forest reserve solely to collect mushrooms.

The Appeal Court upheld their 15-year sentences.

The case grabbed media headlines after the couple sought justice from several agencies.

The court was widely criticised for its judgement.

LAWYER TOLD THEM TO CONFESS SO COURT WOULD HAVE MERCY ON THEM

The elderly couple had earlier said they confessed to the charges, even though they had done nothing wrong, after being advised by their lawyer and neighbours that doing so would mean the penalty would be reduced and they would not have to spend time in prison.

In Thailand, punishment in criminal cases can be reduced by huge amounts if the accused confesses to the crime they are accused of committing.

Unfortunately, this also sometimes provides an incentive even to those who are innocent and did not commit crimes to confess to a crime to avoid a long time in jail that seems certain

The couple have already spent about 20 months in prison.

SUPREME COURT FINAL JUDGEMENT IN CASE

Udom Sirisorn, 54, and his wife Daeng, 51, of Non Sa-ard village in Kalasin’s Huai Mek district, arrived at the provincial court to hear the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday morning.

They said they would accept the judgement.

The court reduced the lower courts' sentences to five years in jail each on forest encroachment charges.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1242355/mushroom-picking-couples-jail-terms-cut-to-5-years

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Vocabulary

  • accused: to be said to have done something wrong or committed a crime - ถูกกล่าวหา
  • appeal: a request to a court to change a decision by a lower court - อุทธรณ์
  • Appeal Court (Court of Appeal) : a court that decides requests that a decision made by a lower court be changed - ศาลอุทธรณ์ 
  • apprehended (verb): caught; arrested; caught by the police - ถูกจับ, โดนจับกุม
  • arrested: caught by the police and taken to a police station because you are believed to have committed a crime - ถูกจับกุม
  • authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • avoid: to stay away from; to not use - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • bail: money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  - เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
  • charge (verb): to ask an amount of money for goods or a service - เรียกเก็บเงิน
  • collect (verb): to gather together a group/set/amount of things, often of the same sort - สะสม, เก็บรวบรวม
  • commit: to do something wrong or illegal - ทำความผิด
  • confess (verb): to admit that you have committed a crime - สารภาพผิด
  • confessed (verb): admitted to having committed a crime - สารภาพผิด
  • confesses: admits that you have done something wrong or something that you feel guilty or bad about - สารภาพผิด
  • couple: two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship - คุ่รัก
  • couple: two things or people - สอง, สองสิ่ง, คนสองคน
  • court: the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล
  • criminal: relating to illegal acts - เกี่ยวกับอาชญากรรม
  • criticised: receiving words of disapproval over something that you have supposedly done wrong - ถูกวิจารณ์, โดนว่า
  • elderly: (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
  • emotional: related to strong feeling such as anger or love, or strong feelings in general - อารมณ์
  • encroachment: gradually covering more and more of an area of land - การบุกรุก
  • fell (verb): to cut down a tree; to cause something to fall - โค่น
  • forest: an area with trees, animals and plants - ป่า
  • forest reserve: a forest area that is set aside for animals, trees and plants - ป่าสงวน
  • forestry: the growing of trees - การทำป่าไม้, วิชาการป่าไม้
  • grab: to take or hold somebody/something with your hand suddenly, firmly or roughly - จับ,ฉวย,คว้า,แย่ง
  • headline (verb): to be the main attraction - เป็นจุดสนใจ
  • headline: the title of a newspaper story that is printed in large letters - ข่าวพาดหัว
  • illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • incentive: something that makes you want to do something or work harder, because you know that you will benefit by doing this - สิ่งกระตุ้น
  • innocent: a person who has not done anything wrong - ผู้บริสุทธิ์
  • insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
  • judgement: the decision of a court or a judge; a verdict - พิพากษา
  • justice: a fair result or punishment from a court of law - ความยุติธรรม
  • logger: a person who cuts down trees; a lumberjack - คนตัดไม้
  • logging: the work of cutting down trees for wood - อาชีพการตัดไม้
  • media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
  • neighbour: someone who lives near you, - เพื่อนบ้าน
  • officials: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • penalty: a punishment, or the usual punishment, for doing something that is against a law - โทษ
  • pending: waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed - ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
  • prison: a place where criminals are put to stay for a period of time as punishment for a crime - คุก, ,เรือนจำ
  • prison sentence: a prison term; a length of time someone is required to stay in prison - ระยะเวลาที่จำคุก
  • protect: to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน
  • provincial (adj): related to "provinces" , the different parts of a country - ประจำจังหวัด, ส่วนท้องถิ่น
  • punishment: an act or a way of punishing somebody - การลงโทษ
  • raid: to forcefully and suddenly enter a place to catch criminals or to search for something like drugs or, in this case, fake passports - ใช้กำลังเข้าค้นสถานที่หรือ จับกุมคนร้าย
  • reduce: to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง
  • release: allowing someone to go free - การปล่อยตัว
  • release: allowing someone/something to go free - การปล่อย
  • reserve (noun): a protected area set aside for animals, trees and plants - เขตสงวน
  • reserve forests: protected forests; forests that are set aside for animals, trees and plants -
  • ruling  (noun): a judgement; a decision by a court of law - คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
  • sentence : (of a court of law) to give a punishment - ลงโทษ
  • sentence : a punishment given by a court of law - การตัดสินลงโทษ
  • solely: only; not involving somebody/something else - แต่ผู้เดียว
  • supreme court: the highest court in a country - ศาลฎีกา, ศาลสูงสุด
  • trace: to follow the evidence to find out something - ตามรอย ตามทาง
  • unfortunately: making you sad or disappointed, or getting you into a difficult position - น่าเสียดาย
  • upheld (verb): when a higher court said a lower court decision was ok and denied an appeal to reverse the court's decision - พิพากษายืนตามคำตัดสินหรือวินิจฉัยของศาลชั้นต้น
  • widely: (adv) a lot -
  • wild (adj): growing in the forest or other natural place; not planted, grown or raised by humans - ไม่เชื่อง
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