Wednesday, January 28, 2009

...with liberty and justice for all

The purveyors of the conventional wisdom are strongly rallying to the idea that Bush Administration officials should not be held accountable for their possibly manifold instances of breaking the laws regarding torture and illegal surveillance.

Glenn Greenwald points out how we're creating a two-tiered justice system, and just how harsh the system is on ordinary citizens. He actually has an entire series of articles, they should be read.

But even if you don't, read below:

Homeless man gets 15 years for stealing $100

A homeless man robbed a Louisiana bank and took a $100 bill. After feeling remorseful, he surrendered to police the next day. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Roy Brown, 54, robbed the Capital One bank in Shreveport, Louisiana in December 2007. He approached the teller with one of his hands under his jacket and told her that it was a robbery.

The teller handed Brown three stacks of bill but he only took a single $100 bill and returned the remaining money back to her. He said that he was homeless and hungry and left the bank.

The next day he surrendered to the police voluntarily and told them that his mother didn’t raise him that way.

Brown told the police he needed the money to stay at the detox center and had no other place to stay and was hungry.

In Caddo District Court, he pleaded guilty. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison for first degree robbery.

If $100 means 15 years in prison, there wouldn't be enough prison space for all the white collar criminals who steal much more than $100 without the least bit of remorse.


banerjee said...

From the Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section LXXXV, translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1896)

"The king should cause chastisement to be meted out to offenders according to the measure of their offences. They that are
wealthy should be punished with fines and confiscations; they that are poor, with loss of liberty."

Arun said...

That section begins "In cases of dispute between two parties...."

In any case, perhaps the Arthasasthra is more relevant.

Srini said...

I am happy for that poor guy. Look at the bright side..he is no longer homeless and he gets full square meals on time.