Saturday, December 23, 2006

Stupid Laws and Harsh Sentences

The Peking Duck shows how others see us: Another shining moment for the US justice system - Stupid laws and sentences have been hot topics here lately, and the latest example of a 17-year-old parolee sentenced to life imprisonment for testing positive for marijuana use is even more appalling - and terrifying - than our earlier discussion of another 17-year-old given a 10-year sentence for receiving a consensual blowjob.

But I have no illusions: For every horror story like this that the media expose, there are probably hundreds if not thousands of similar stories that don't get told, and where the victim is not so lucky. The wheels of the US justice system grind on, protecting us and punishing wrongdoers and making sure rule of law in America works as best it can. But God have mercy on the souls of the little people who get caught up in its cold, heartless machinery. Tragically but not at all surprisingly, the poorer they are, the more likely they are to get sucked into these legal black holes.

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