Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Crime of a Two-Tiered Justice System

In the context of the vapors experienced by the Beltway fainting virgins at the prospect of prosecuting torturers and murderers for, you know, torturing and murdering, Glenn Greenwald brings us an example of the kind of justice Smirky/Darth and their minions should be receiving.

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.

Fifteen years for feeling remorseful about taking a hundred-dollar bill. By that logic, 4,200-plus counts of pre-meditated murder ought to get Dubya and Dick 10 or 12 lifetimes hanging from a hook in the ceiling by their scrotums.

Greenwald goes into shameful detail about the American criminal injustice system's ludicrous over-sentencing of the powerless and its passes for the powerful. But here's the point:

Under all circumstances, arguing that high political officials should be immunized from prosecution when they commit felonies such as illegal eavesdropping and torture would be both destructive and wrong [not to mention, in the case of the latter crimes, a clear violation of a treaty which the U.S. (under Ronald Reagan) signed and thereafter ratified].

But what makes it so much worse, so much more corrupted, is the fact that this "ignore-the-past-and-forget-retribution" rationale is invoked by our media elites only for a tiny, special class of people -- our political leaders -- while the exact opposite rationale ("ignore their lame excuses, lock them up and throw away the key") is applied to everyone else. That, by definition, is what a "two-tiered system of justice" means and that, more than anything else, is what characterizes (and sustains) deeply corrupt political systems. That's the two-tiered system which, for obvious reasons, our political and media elites are now vehemently arguing must be preserved.

Read the whole thing.