$670,000 Fine for Illegal Downloading
No country can possibly survive with a “justice” system this lopsided. I guess it goes hand in hand with CEOs paying a lower tax rate than janitors.
Joel Tenenbaum, a former Boston University student, was fined $670,000 for the heinous crime of downloading and sharing thirty songs. Off with his head! And the Corporate Arm of the Republican Party — formerly known as the Supreme Court — has refused to even review this case. Who’s this Tenenbaum fellow think he is, anyway — a corporation?
It’s not what you ripped off, it’s WHO you ripped off. Now if this college punk had stolen billions of dollars from shareholders and bank depositors, he’d be getting a promotion and a larger bonus next year.
Stealing about $45 worth of songs from the all-powerful Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), on the other hand, is a much more serious crime.
There are too many examples of America’s huge sentencing disparity. Here are just a few:
Set a fatal booby trap along a popular hiking trail — which by a roll of the dice didn’t ensnare anybody — and you get charged with misdemeanor Reckless Endangerment.
This column by Leonard Pitts, Jr. has some incredible — as in “you can’t make this shit up” — reports of absurd crime sentences. Thirty years to life for stealing a VCR. A woman shoots a gun into the air in order to scare off her enraged husband who had been strangling her — twenty years. (The husband wasn’t charged with a crime.) Another woman finally shot and killed her husband after he had been beating and kicking her for three days straight — fifty years. What happened to that “Stand Your Ground” meme that conservatives have been spewing out en masse?
In the case of Joel Tenenbaum’s $670,000 fine, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Supreme Court isn’t interested. A lowly individual versus the RIAA — in mean, come on. Not that the Supreme Court has a pro-corporate bias or anything like that. Just because Clarence Thomas used to work for Monsanto, and Scalia’s son is a Wall Street lawyer fighting on behalf of bank CEOs…