Is the justice system biased against the poor?

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posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 03:57 AM
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I just ran across this link in an article I was reading.
Its a breakdown of how nearly everyone will break the law at one point in their life. But, by a very large margin, mainly poorer people are subject to arrests and prison.


Summary All classes commit crime. However, the poor experience higher rates of arrest, criminal charges, convictions, long prison sentences and denial of parole. This winnowing process ensures that most rich criminals never see the inside of a prison, while overflowing them with the poor.


Now, I know that there are many factors to consider here, and this argumentative link doesn't really touch on upbringing and social status and heck even the city or state one may be a citizen of. But, in general, overall terms, the argument is correct.

And lets not forget the 'Club Med' style prisons that the wealthier criminals have built for themselves.

Im curious to hear others take on this argument.

Im sure alot are going to go into how the 'elite' are untouchable or how they can just pay people off and what not. But, Im looking less at the conspiracy side of the coin and more the social side of it.

Im asking: Where did we go wrong as a society for money to exempt you from law? And, Is there anything that can be done at this pint to reverse such a thing?

Obviously, this isn't just a problem in America. This is a problem with alot of western cultures, including South America.

So, what say you ATS?

Source




posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:00 AM
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Is the justice system biased against the poor?


Yes.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:09 AM
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reply to post by Chickensalad
 


WHOA!

I have never heard of Steve Kangas until I started researching my source link.

Im bout to dive down that rabbit hole now.

Be back in a bit.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:15 AM
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reply to post by Chickensalad
 


I think it's pretty obvious.

So is the financial system, the educational system and the healthcare system.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by Chickensalad
 


Well here in the U.K they seem to be slashing legal aid to the working class/unemployed people like there is no tomorrow. They are also in favour of replacing rather a lot of jury trials with only a judge.

Justice can now essentially be purchased for a price so nothing new on that score!
LoL

Any Bankers out there care to chime in and explain why there are still in possession of their liberty/freedom? I'm sure they could answer the OPs question.
LoL
edit on 13-9-2013 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Chickensalad
 


Yes it is very biased. There are several reasons for this.
Crime is indeed prevalent in all social classes, but the types of crimes are significantly different. Additionally our perception of these crimes are significantly different. The fear of violence is one that is shared by the majority of humans, and hence is very relatable. But financial crimes are often so complicated that many of us struggle to grasp the direct and indirect consequences of these. Because of that, we tend to punish violent offenders much harder than non-violent offenders, regardless of the scope of damage they have inflicted upon society.
Another reason is the privatization of the American prison system, which has given a lot of people an interest in stopping pro active efforts to fight crime. There are a bunch of conspiracies linked to this - everything from gangster rap being sponsored by people who stand to gain financially from young black men committing crimes, to judges being bribed so they will give longer convictions. There's the whole thing about people being convicted differently depending on whether they sell a drug under one name or another, even though it is the same drug, but simply because one word was used by the black community. The entire war on drugs, is a war on poor people.

The answer is YES!
edit on 06/06/12 by Mads1987 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:34 AM
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Yes, the facts did say as much... I read an article on a MSM news site in the last week that the U.S. is experiencing the largest gap between rich and poor since the year 1922.

The legal system in Idaho at least seems to be rather uninterested in social status... my friend got a D.U.I. and went in there and had no representation but was able to represent himself, and he was able to challenge stuff effectively, although the fines he has to pay aren't something he can afford, especially without being able to drive to work.

Well, obviously having money would make a difference, but as far as dealing with the court system itself, it seemed like just another day, there wasn't any bias towards him for being poor.

I guess my main point is, yes, money makes a difference for sure. I've experienced being both poor and rich, having rich parents and being a poor offspring. Although from what I saw in court, the judge might be more annoyed by a rich person getting privilege than a poor person representing themselves well.

I'm not sure which I like better, as being treated differently as a rich person makes it quite the shock to be thrown into the ghetto or whatnot, I actually went to go visit my parents this week to get away from helpless situations back home and clear my head.
edit on 13-9-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)
edit on 13-9-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:42 AM
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I love when celebrities claim they're being treated harshly and unfairly because they're celebrities. They think the justice system is making an example of them or something, when in reality the only example being made is that if you're a celebrity, you get off damned easy


edit on 13-9-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:49 AM
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I suppose I need to clarify a bit.
The title is just that. A title.
Im not asking whether not the system is biased. Of course it is.

The question is: How did we get here as a society and how can we reverse this if at all?



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 04:54 AM
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Chickensalad
I suppose I need to clarify a bit.
The title is just that. A title.
Im not asking whether not the system is biased. Of course it is.

The question is: How did we get here as a society and how can we reverse this if at all?


Answer, hang all the Bankers, Politicians, Lawyers and Bureaucrats from the nearest lamppost until they are dead, dead, dead! If that sounds extreme is because it's meant to be. You don't pussy foot around a cancerous tumor aka TPTB, you cut it out ASAP.

As to how we got ourselves into this mess. We allowed them to walk us down that particular path under the guise of them protecting the very freedoms now being removed on a daily basis.


Essentially removing TPTB is the only way we will ever reverse there heinous control measures over our masses!

I have a question. Nobody ever wonder why justice is blind?
LoL
edit on 13-9-2013 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:15 AM
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Here is another link highlighting the problem.

Prison-for-rent


And hell, Martha Stewart only got 5 months for possible fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and obstruction, but this guy gets up to 3 years for transporting marijuana.

Drug debate aside, its hard to tell who committed the victimless crime out of the two when you consider their sentencing.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:24 AM
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Did any banksters get locked up for white collar crimes?

There's your answer


(These new Emocons are awful... they should be locked up)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:26 AM
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Are they taking into account the differences of numbers between those classes or is it all % based. And who decides what category people fall into anyway?

Theres more poor crime because theres more poor people.



I dont think fines should ever relate to punishment personally, with the only exception of minor road crimes. Because if you can fill up your car and pay your taxes on it, you can afford a ticket rather than have other punishments. makes the most sense for that.
edit on 13-9-2013 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:45 AM
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of course it is biased against the "poor people". just the fact that a "rich person" can hire a "good" lawyer, while a "poor person" who can't afford a "high price lawyer" gets stuck with a "public defendant" who may or may not be very good/overworked, should tell you this. right away that gives a person who can afford it a MAJOR advantage. nothing else is even needed to make it biased against the poorer person.how well do you think many people who have had "expensive" lawyers would have fared with a "public defendant"?

guilt or innocence actually seems to come second place to the "quality" of lawyer one has, and the money spent on a "legal TEAM". a public defendant seems to be more interested in "plea bargaining" (again innocent or guilty), then in fighting to win. mostly because they may have MANY people to help, and limited time as only one person. where when you pay your own lawyer that lawyer is typically ALL YOURS, not to mention that if you have the money, it will likely not just A lawyer, but more than one, plus investigators and such as well to help you out. things not available to someone stuck using a "public defender". if EVERYONE had the same access to "quality" legal help as those who can afford it have, it would take a rather STRONG CASE against someone to put them away, even if the ARE guilty. not like someone who has to rely on a "public defendant" who gets put away on the barest of CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence, only to be found not guilty years later when new technology like DNA can be used (normally also needing a "paid lawyer"), to show it was not you. i suspect that of the "poorer" inmates especially there is a HIGH PERCENTAGE of people who really are not guilty, but due to "poor representation" by a "public defender" or even being STRONGLY URGED to "take a plea bargain", by a "public defendant" as they feel that they can not win, end up in prison. that is "bias" all right.
edit on 13-9-2013 by generik because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:47 AM
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Mads1987
reply to post by Chickensalad
 


Yes it is very biased. There are several reasons for this.
Crime is indeed prevalent in all social classes, but the types of crimes are significantly different. Additionally our perception of these crimes are significantly different. The fear of violence is one that is shared by the majority of humans, and hence is very relatable. But financial crimes are often so complicated that many of us struggle to grasp the direct and indirect consequences of these. Because of that, we tend to punish violent offenders much harder than non-violent offenders, regardless of the scope of damage they have inflicted upon society.
Another reason is the privatization of the American prison system, which has given a lot of people an interest in stopping pro active efforts to fight crime. There are a bunch of conspiracies linked to this - everything from gangster rap being sponsored by people who stand to gain financially from young black men committing crimes, to judges being bribed so they will give longer convictions. There's the whole thing about people being convicted differently depending on whether they sell a drug under one name or another, even though it is the same drug, but simply because one word was used by the black community. The entire war on drugs, is a war on poor people.

The answer is YES!
edit on 06/06/12 by Mads1987 because: (no reason given)


Spot on account! Star for you sir.

Although one minor correction. That drug that the black communities use isn't the exact same drug used by other communities. It is chemically different, and the effects are different. One is a salt, and the other a free base. While the motivation for having harsher penalties for one of the forms was definitely a discriminatory move, that form of the drug is still more damaging to the body, and more addictive.

Anyway, as far as the OP, the justice system of biased against the poor because with wealth comes power, in all areas of life, not just legal matters.

The most obvious difference is the ability to mount a proper defense. The wealthy can get amazing lawyers that have a much better track record of getting their clients off. The poor are stuck with either shoddy public defenders that don't care one bit for you, or cheap shoddy lawyers that also don't care about you. The quality of your defense is a big part of whether or not you see a conviction.

The next is connections. Usually wealthy people have a large network of family, business associates, friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, etc. The large your network, and the higher up on the social ladder the people in your network are, the higher the chance you'll know someone who can put pressure on the police/da/judge/whatever in your favor.

Madz1987 brought up the next factor, which is the types of crimes commited. Poor people usually are involved in drug crimes, robberies, thefts, etc. Wealthy people are often involved in more complicated crimes that are more difficult to detect, and more difficult to prosecute.

Another factor is the criminals themselves. Poor criminals are usually less educated than wealthy criminals. Basically, poor criminals are just plain stupid compared to wealthy ones. They don't cover their crimes up as well, they flaunt their criminal activities, and they are ignorant of the law which makes it easier to catch them. They are less aware of their rights, and the capabilities of the police force, so it's easier to lie to and trick poor criminals compared to wealthy ones.

Poor criminals often commit crimes out of desperation. When you are desperate you aren't going to be able to plan an execute a plan very well. You'll make mistakes and cut corners, which will come back to bite you in the rear.

Poor criminals are usually involved in thefts, drug dealing, etc because they themselves are hardcore drug addicts, and are so deep into addiction it's ruining their intelligence and capabilities. Committing and/or planning crimes while out of your mind in the darkest pits of addiction is a good way to commit a crime you'll get caught for.

Then there is also the way that the police investigate and interrogate the criminals. When a wealthy person is suspected of a crime, the investigation is usually less aggressive and fast-and-loose, because they know if they make any mistakes during the investigation a wealthy person will have a lawyer good enough to spot the mistake, and get their client off. Or the criminal themselves will know when the cops are using under the table tactics and stall them on it.

With poor criminals, the police don't care about them as much, they consider them stupid, and know they likely won't get a decent lawyer. This emboldens them to break rules and go beyond the letter of the law in order to get evidence and get a conviction.

I'm sure there are many more reasons, but those are the ones that came to mind right now.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 05:57 AM
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I don't really see any difference except the crime rate for thr poor is higher so the conviction rate would be.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 06:50 AM
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reply to post by mikell
 


The difference is if you are poor you are more lightly to be charged with a crime than if you are rich.

Simply because the legal system is geared towards enforcing blind justice on the lower classes while condoning, turning a blind eye and even participating in what are considered "White collar crimes" perpetrated by the upper classes!

Essentially one rule for "Them" and another for the rest of us!



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 07:42 AM
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You, unfortunately, hit the nail on the head.

What is worse is that in many prisons and jails across the US, there are judges, and others in the justice system, who have a vested interest, and personally profit from keeping the prisons full. The poor are an easy and defenseless (literally) target. Combine that with the fact that District Attorneys need to keep their win to loss ratio high if they want to further their careers, while the court appointed attorney that most poor folks would have, tries to skate by doing the bare minimum, since there is no incentive, whatsoever, for them to do much more. Hence, the prosecution has incentive, while the one defending the poor person delivers them up to the court, with all the formalities taken care of, but little else to save them from becoming another statistic.

A person who can afford an attorney has a far greater advantage of going free, whether guilty, or not.

Also, at least in my state, if you have money, you can post bail and remain free, until your trial date. If you are poor, you cannot post bail, and therefore remain in jail until your trial date. Even if you cannot afford a lawyer, the advantages you have by remaining free (such as being able to research the law yourself, developing your own plan of defense, etc...basically everything your court appointed attorney should take care of) are huge when compared to the limited resources for defending yourself, that jail provides.

For instance, in jail, even your phones are tapped and recorded, and the prosecution has the right to listen to every call an inmate makes. In other words, no privacy, and there is nothing you can say or ask anyone outside of jail that the DA doesn't know about. It is unfair, at best, and it happens to millions of people who await trial, while in custody. And, the primary difference between remaining free, or not, is dependent on one thing: ability to post bail, or rather, MONEY.

It simply is not real 'justice', by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it seems the word justice is used in America much like many other lofty words such as freedom, democracy, equality...they all sound nice, and they are great concepts, but what is delivered in their name hardly matches the concept, if at all.

Good thread, and thanks for letting me vent. It is most definitely one issue, out of many, that needs to be corrected, although, sadly, I'm not holding my breath tat it will be any time soon.



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 07:55 AM
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andy06shake
reply to post by mikell
 


The difference is if you are poor you are more lightly to be charged with a crime than if you are rich.

Simply because the legal system is geared towards enforcing blind justice on the lower classes while condoning, turning a blind eye and even participating in what are considered "White collar crimes" perpetrated by the upper classes!

Essentially one rule for "Them" and another for the rest of us!


Then when you consider uppity new prosecutors looking to make a name for themselves with a long list of convictions, who do you think they are going to go after? The wealthy or the poor?

I was wrongly accused of a crime several years back. My lawyer told me basically the prosecution has zero evidence, which I knew to be true as I didn't commit the crime. He said he felt very strongly that I was innocent, and actually seemed angry that the prosecutor would have even pressed charges.

Once we get to court my Lawyer was chatting with the prosecutor, while I stood a few feet behind my lawyer. The gist of what my lawyer said was "you have no evidence, and you know my client is not guilty"

You know how the slimy, probably fresh out of law school scumbag replied? With a stupid little smile on his face he said something like "Well it's possible that more information will come out during the trial of the other people"

What he meant was that I wasn't the only person accused of the crime, there were others, and even though he knew I was innocent, he was hoping one of the other guys would lie and claim I was involved in order to cop a plea.

They would have NEVER pulled that stunt on someone with money. I was just a twentysomething looser with no money and nobody is going to care if they railroad me, in his eyes.

Well before this point I knew the justice system was stacked against minorities, the poor, and was broken in general, but afterward I realize how totally and utterly flawed the system is. That worthless prosecutor should not be in a position where he alone determines whether or not to press charges. I don't know what the answer is, but allowing stupid kids (the guy barely looked older than me) to play games with people's lives for their own career advancement is unacceptable. There needs to be more oversight on the process for selecting who to prosecute.

It doesn't end there. While I was in the courtroom at arraignment waiting for my turn, there was a woman in there for something, I can't really remember what she was charged with. But long story short, her case was put on hold somehow. She didn't know when/if her charges would be reinstated. She asked the judge when/if the charges were reinstated, would she receive a letter in the mail or something to alert her. The judge said no, there would just be a warrant issues for her arrest and no notification to her.

The woman seemed stunned, and rightfully so. There were people in the "audience" that burst into quiet whispers with the people next to them, obviously equally as stunned that such a situation was possible, that the courts refused to notify a person once their charges were reinstated, and it would just be an immediate arrest warrant issued.

So this woman could be going about her normal life, thinking her case was dropped, and then one day get pulled over and arrested because of a warrant that she had no way of knowing was issued.

She pleaded with the judge, as anyone would do in that situation. The judge told her that her only other option was to keep a lawyer on retainer, indefinitely, so that he could check in with the courts. Evidently the woman was not allowed to check in with the courts herself.

Can you believe that? If, within a time period of about an hour I witness one awful act by the injustice system, right before I too became a victim of it. I can only imagine how many tens of millions of people have gone through this same type of thing. It's disgusting.

I have zero respect or faith in the justice system, nor any of their extensions such as prisons or police. They all work together for their own gain at the expense of innocent people's futures.
edit on 13-9-2013 by James1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2013 @ 08:03 AM
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The justice department is not biast of the poor. They are too lenient of the rich though. Your assumption is only flawed because you said poor. No matter how poor you are, you shouldn't steal or con someone. Some of the rich use conning to gain their wealth, I think that even this legal practice is wrong. The numbers of those who make a living by getting people to buy things they do not need is increasing. That is the problem with this system and it will lead to super inflation if the numbers increase further. People often do not even know they are doing this, society has made this socially acceptable. We need to get more jobs for people making things we need in this country, like toasters and mixers. I didn't mind working in a factory, the conditions were a little dirty and it was hot working in the foundries but it was an honest living and you did not need a college education to work there. There were jobs for people there who were not very smart also, sweeping the floor and cleaning restrooms. These people didn't need to steal to live. They did not need to be a strain on society, they could even pay taxes.

We have gone the wrong way, this branch on the path of life is not growing at all, it will cause the death of the country. The people in congress have been bull-winkled to believe a lie. We can have environmental friendly factories, they do not have to be perfect either. Look at the environmental impact that buying from China is causing, that impacts the whole planet. Ship materials to the other side of the globe and ship products back. That does not make sense....on top of that when the stuff is cheaper, we buy more of what we really don't need. Instead of hiring a handiman with tools, we go out and buy tools and use them once then they get rusty and don't work because of corrosion. This lowers the jobs for the trades. It is a downward spiral.



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