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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/1/11

Crime and Punishment

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"The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not."

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-1997), U.S. economist. The Age of Uncertainty, chapter 2 (1977).

"The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier."

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Major Barbara, Preface (1905).

"What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class."

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59), French social philosopher. Democracy in America, volume 2, Appendix 5, "Democracy" (1840).

Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in the majority opinion for Marbury v. Madison (1803), "The Government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men." And yet, we are increasingly seeing that the enforcement of the law in the United States is a matter of who you are, and not what the law says.

The case in point is the recent decision by the prosecutor in Aspen, Colorado, to not prosecute a Wall Street financier for hit and run (committed against a surgeon no less) as well as vehicular assault, because a felony charge would adversely effect this individual's ability to earn a living in the future.

I should not be surprised. Here in Colorado your station within the societal framework, together with your ability to afford a good lawyer has always made it easy for the power elite in this state to avoid the most serious consequences of their actions. I remember reading about a traffic accident roughly twenty years ago in Southern Colorado, where some local big wig ran a stop sign and broadsided an RV, killing all five people in the RV. This clown had the clout, and enough money for attorneys, so that by the time all was said and done, five counts of vehicular homicide had been reduced to five counts of careless driving. This was in spite of the fact (if I remember correctly) he had refused a breath test, and had his license automatically revoked at the scene for refusing a breath test when suspected of Driving Under the Influence.

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Richard Girard is a polymath and autodidact whose greatest desire in life is to be his generations' Thomas Paine. He is an FDR Democrat, which probably puts him with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the current political spectrum. His answer to (more...)

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