2/15/2016

American Justice is Rigged


WASHINGTON -- In a scorching speech from the Senate floor on recently, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said the American criminal justice system is rigged in favor of the wealthy, and condemned new legislation that would make it harder to prosecute bank fraud.

"There are two legal systems," Warren said. "One for the rich and powerful, and one for everyone else." 

Warren's office issued a report earlier this week documenting 20 cases in which federal officials had enough evidence against corporate malfeasance to issue fines.

In most of the cases, companies were not even required to admit guilt. In only one case did a corporate offender go to jail -- Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who received a 3-month sentence over a mine disaster that killed 29 people.

"It's not equal justice when a kid gets thrown in jail for stealing a car, while a CEO gets a huge raise when his company steals billions," Warren said. "It's not equal justice when someone hooked on opioids gets locked up for buying pills on the street, but bank executives get off scot-free for laundering nearly a billion dollars of drug cartel money." 

Multiple banks have been busted for laundering drug money, though none of their executives have been charged with crimes.

"One legal system is for big companies, for the wealthy and the powerful. In this legal system, government officials fret about unintended consequences if they are too tough." But in the second legal system, Warren said, "government enforcement isn't timid."

"Just ask the families of Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray and Michael Brown about how aggressive [police and prosecutors] are," Warren said.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual cornerstone of the court’s modern conservative wing, whose elegant and acidic opinions inspired a movement of legal thinkers and ignited liberal critics, died Feb. 13 on a ranch near Marfa, Tex. He was 79. 

The cause of death was not immediately known. 

In a statement Saturday, Chief Justice John G. Roberts said: “On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. 

He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. 

His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family.”

Justice Scalia, the first Italian American to serve on the court, was nominated by President Ronald Reagan. He took his seat Sept. 26, 1986, and quickly became the kind of champion to the conservative legal world that his benefactor was in the political realm.

So, will he be replaced by a LIBERAL?






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