I’ll start out with a simple question, based on a situation where the outcome would depend solely on justice, law and order and to an extent, morality. So, here it goes.
“If someone has £2,000,000 to spend on a lawyer to defend themselves in a case where they have been accused of murder and pleaded not guilty, and another person has to rely on public funds, would the outcome be different?”
I think your first reaction would be to sum up the evidence. That is somewhat distorted from reality, the reality is the £2,000,000 would in fact buy most people a good shot at freedom. Why? I have no answer to this, but case after case of wealthy individuals evading prison whom conveniently have stacks of cash is not a knew thing.
One such case of a murder trial in the last century was the trial of O.J Simpson, which has become infamous. He evaded prison, and thousands were happy. But it wasn’t necessarily down to money. As you are aware the racial tensions were high and judges may have seen it too risky to prosecute for fear of mass social disorganization and riots.
Eventually, O.J Simpson was found guilty in 2008 in a Nevada robbery and kidnapping case and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. Not so many people will be aware of this. But he is due to be released only 9 years into his sentence, and once released will enjoy the fruits of a million dollar NFL pension. Hardly justice? has his money and fame got something to do with this? Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts, I certainly like to entertain such ideas!
Let’s fast forward, a recent and most shocking murder of the girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, in 2013, Valentines day. Reeva Steenkamp, was cowering in her bathroom as the athlete put on his prosthetic legs and shot her through the door. He was a well known Olympic and Paralympic athlete, slapped with a measly 6 year sentence. The news kept throwing statements around and Pistorius even managed to have a period in his home while under house arrest. Is that something most lower class people have the luxury of? No!
These are 2 very interesting cases, because I can find hundreds of similar situations where people convicted of murder or any other hideous crime, will spend a lot more time in a cell than those with millions. Is this inequality? I was under the impression the law applied to everyone in the same way, and that no one, even government, is above it. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 should have seen Oscar Pistorius imprisoned for life.
Please leave any thoughts on the inequality within the legal system.