Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Different Justice for Rich and Poor?

I say yes, but not for the reasons you might think. Over the years I have noticed over and over that certain prominent people get prosecuted for acts which would go unnoticed by the criminal justice system if committed by ordinary people. Two recent examples come to mind, with two trials which started in the U.S. on the same day two weeks ago.

The first is the John Edwards trial. This is the only example I have ever heard of where someone being blackmailed gets prosecuted, and the blackmailer gets off scot-free. Surely this would never occur if a prominent person was not involved.

The second case is Roger Clemens. Here is the only example I know of where someone gets prosecuted for denying he committed a crime.

Just to be clear, I think both of these individuals are despicable people, but being despicable is not a crime. (For my view of Clemens, see my post of 2/07/08). Surely our justice system has better ways to spend its limited resources.

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