Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Law and Money in NYC

It's not exactly a secret that money plays a huge role in unbalancing the scales of American justice. 

It's easier for wealthy and powerful people to shield themselves from the legal consequences of their gross misdeeds while poor and powerless people get the book thrown at them for even the most minor of infractions. Every time there's a high profile criminal trial, it's always noted by the public and the press how rich defendants buy their acquittals with high priced lawyers. Every time a big corporation wins a liability case, it's usually noticed how their armies of lawyers win the day. 

Justice isn't blind -- it's for sale.

But those are only the high profile, sensational stories. How money and power really perverts justice is in the day to day, routine administration of it. When affluent people are arrested, they can easily bail themselves out. When poor people are arrested, they can't. When affluent people are arrested, their family can get a lawyer ASAP who can get the charges dismissed. Poor people are dependent on overworked public defenders who can't. Affluent people have the means to fight charges. Poor people don't. So affluent people are much more likely to wriggle out of legal problems while poor people are very often forced to take pleas. 

It's an awful, unfair situation. And it's alive and well in NYC. Read about it here.    

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