Is it true that people who are wealthy and have connections get a less severe punishment for doing … by Ed Caruthers
Answer by Ed Caruthers:
This certainly happens sometimes. We see examples. E.g., Google “6 month sentence for rape”.
The justice system pretty consistently give harsher sentences to those considered (by the judge or jury) to be “bad people”. And the justice system often gives lighter sentences to those considered “good people”. “Bad people” are assumed to present a stronger risk of hurting others in the future. “Good people” are assumed to have learned their lessons and to not present a future risk. It’s assumed that “bad people” will never be productive. It’s assumed that “good people” will go on to work at good jobs, pay taxes, raise good kids, an maybe even do charity work. It’s often believed that sending “good people” to jail is inappropriate.
I might not object to this, if wealth and race weren’t so strongly correlated with judgments about who the good people and the bad people are. See a book length treatment of this subject,
byand Molly Crabapple