Monday, January 21, 2008

Slanted Justice

Man, Woman Commit Same Crime--She Gets 6 Months, He Gets 20 Years
January 21st, 2008

It can be problematic to compare sentences in different cases, particularly if the jurisdictions and/or laws are different or if plea bargains are involved. Still, it is sometimes of use, such as in discussing the sentencing disparities between whites and blacks and the sentencing disparities between men and women.

Jack, a reader, sent me the two articles linked below. In one, a woman caretaker scalded a boy (pictured) with bathwater.

His toes may need to be amputated, he may not be able to procreate, and he has severely infected, oozing wounds. Prosecutors say that after scalding the boy the caretaker forced him to do chores, even though he had first and second-degree burns. She didn't take him to the hospital for several days. Her sentence? Six months.

In the second article, a man did the same thing to his live-in girlfriends' son (minus the chores and with taking him to the hospital hours later instead of days)--and got 20 years.





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