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« The demise of the lady | Main | I was wrong »

April 30, 2007

Convenient Correction

So how could this NY Times article not catch your eye as you glance through your normal Monday news? Apparently these "buy-your-cell" situations are not all that new, but this is the first I've heard of them.

I guess money really does buy you a better life... at least if you're prone to disobeying the law. (Note to self, if you're going to be a criminal, be a rich one.) It seems the justice system is reverting back to a sub-standard approach to life: rich = convenience, poor = tough luck. What does this teach society (and our children) about justice and life?

I'm also wondering how many of the "clients" are priviledged whites as opposed to African-Americans. Many if not most of the African-Americans behind bars come from poor inner-city families. I'm guessing the five-star option is a little out of their league.

But on the flip side, how nice to have paying customers in an overbooked, overcrowded, increasingly costly justice system. Right?

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I agree. This system implies a direct relationship between wealth and guilt. It's a pragmatic approach to crime, and subsequently, sin. At the same time, I can see the value in giving first-time non-violent offenders somewhat of a break. It's no secret that these folks can come off a sentence more disruptive than they were before they served their time. In some cases, nonviolent offenders actually become violent by living so close to violent offenders. All in all, I don't agree with the "get out of jail free" card, but I do see the argument.

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