Monday, February 02, 2009

Scales of justice

A hat-tip here to Terry Glavin...and the weather in Hell is getting a mite chilly about now. I'm not overly fond of his brand of politicking, as some of my readers know, but he put up an excellent post yesterday on America's two-tiered justice system. Read it and weep.

A hungry and homeless Black man in Shreveport, Louisiana, walks into a bank, announces to a teller that it's a stickup (and pretends to be armed). She puts three stacks of bills in front of him. He peels off one $100 bill, to pay for his continuing stay at a detox centre. A short time later, his conscience gets the better of him, and he turns himself in to police.

His sentence? 15 years.

More on the wider issue from Glenn Greenwald. One fact plucked at random from his piece: the USA, with 5% of the world's population, houses 25% of the world's prisoners in its jails.

Too bad poor Roy Brown didn't set his sights a little higher. Skin colour aside (we are talking Louisiana here, folks) he might have been Bernie Madoff, sitting warm and happy in his mansion after defrauding clients of $50 billion or so.

In America, size matters.

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