Topics: Law, Wealth condensation, Crime Pages: 5 (2293 words) Published: December 11, 2012
The richer you are, the more justice you get
The idea of the being rich and getting much more justice is an idea which has been around for a long time. Social and criminal justice has always been dependant on how much money an individual, or group of individuals have. Two identical cases can go to court, and two different outcomes can be reached. The only difference in the ruling is due to the wealth of the defendant. However, is it really justice to commit crimes and not face any punishment? In the past, the idea of social justice also followed the idea at hand; the richer you are, the more justice you get. It had always been seen that if an individual has lots of money, they always get the appropriate justice to suit their needs, and their social standing. Police would always target the lower class citizens to protect the wealthy. If the wealthy were committing the crimes, it would go unnoticed. As a result the poor followed lives of crime, encouraging a large police presence and large arrest rates. This was something sociologists such as Marx looked at explaining, and it can be easily seen that social justice has a clear link to criminal justice. (Roberts & Mahone, 2007) Write (2012) states that “If the law prohibits rich and poor alike from stealing bread, and both steal bread, how come only the poor go to prison for doing so?” This is a phrase that sums up the idea at hand. Both classes cannot commit crimes due to the laws of the country, however only the poor seem to get punished. Putting this into a recent perspective, the BBC director general, George Entwistle can be used as an example of rich getting so called justice. Entwistle allowed a Newsnight programme to be released including massive false claims of child abuse, but refusing to let a programme about Jimmy Saville be aired, which included truthful claims. This caused public outrage, however as Entwistle is of the higher class and holds more power, rather than facing the justice system for defamation and withholding major information, he got paid a year’s wages. Entwistle was with the company for a total of 54 days, yet he was rewarded a massive pay off for leaving the company of his own accord. This works solely because of the fact Entwistle resigned before he could get fired; giving the impression the rich have a better knowledge of the justice system. Is it truly justice for the rich to get large amounts of money handed to them whenever they are in the wrong? (Mendrick & Hennesy, 2012) However, there are cases in which poorer lesser known people have been accused of withholding information, or defamatory claims and they get no pay off. In fact, what they often do get is a large court case and a term in jail. There are other influences to these types of situation, the media being one, which can affect the amount of justice which is gained. The idea that the rich know how to work the system is again a very current matter. There have been extensive reports that the rich are getting away with tax evasion. There are holes in the current legal system which makes this possible, but only the rich have the access and understanding of the process. Good accountants can find these holes and use them to the employer’s advantage, whereas the poor have no access to this at all. As this isn’t wholly illegal the system cannot punish the rich, however, if the poor attempt to get away with not paying tax they are in fact punished. Again, is this justice? The media itself has a large influence on how much justice is gained. The media reports crimes of a high powered nature, usually with the rich as their main interest. If the media portrays these rich people or companies as being able to have their sentences lowered, or be able to reach a settlement agreement it will deter the poor from challenging a high powered, rich corporation. As a result, this means that the poor are going to be once again getting less justice due to the system in place. In the case of...
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