Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Money and Justice.
If you get the chance to see 'O Lucky Man' (1973), don't miss it but be warned - in parts it goes far beyond simply weird.
The UK news sites often link to stories from around the world, and this one illustrates the establishment obsession with money very nicely. The judge made the right call, I think, in jailing this 15-year-old in this case, even though he only stole seven cents.
No, I am not turning into a Victorian flog-them-and-hang-them type. Despite the bleating of his lawyer -
“For seven cents, now you’re making someone a felon for the rest of his life,” she said.
He was not jailed 'for seven cents'. He was jailed for beating up an elderly man, then forcing him at gunpoint (they say they were BB guns but in that situation, would you take a chance?) to hand over the contents of his pockets, then denying it even though both the victim and his accomplice identified him.
The contents of the victim's pockets are not relevant. If they had stolen no more than a piece of string, or taken a million dollars, they were not convicted by the amount. They were convicted for what they did. They assaulted an elderly man and robbed him at gunpoint. That is what they did, not 'stole seven cents'.
Trying to use the small amount stolen as a defence is pathetic, but it is typical of the attitude of so many these days. It is good to see a judge who takes the right approach, not so good to see a lawyer grade crimes by the amount stolen rather than by the severity of the attack.
Unfortunately there is a lot of this happening now. Keep in mind if you're ever in court, you are less important than money.
Except in Judge William Walsh's court. I hope his attitude catches on.