Thursday, May 03, 2007

Less Hard Time

by shamanic

I meant to write this up the other day, an article on for-pay jail cells for short-term offenders of means. In other words, shockingly, justice doesn't always work the same for people with resources than it does for people without.

I know, I know, hardly news, although the parallel system of for-pay jail space was a little surprising to me.

I wonder though how long it'll be before some enterprising lawyer in a community that allows this begins appealing some of these convictions with the argument that the state has a financial incentive to provide longer sentences to those who can pay for better accommodations. I wonder whether any judge in any municipality has ever given a longer sentence than he or she might otherwise have, knowing that a really rotten defendant who clearly deserved 90 days was going to take a more plush route through it.

Does this line of reasoning trouble anyone else? Does pay-to-stay out of general population introduce the taint of financial consideration to the justice system in an especially distasteful way, or are there already so many distasteful financial considerations inherent that this isn't much of anything?