Sunday, April 23, 2006

A tale of two probationers

All Texas probation sentences aren't created equal, according to an article in today's Dallas Morning News ("Unequal Justice: Two very different men commit two very different crimes. When both violate probation, there are wildly different results: The robber gets life; the killer remains free," April 23) - the rich get plenty of leeway while the poor may be booted off to prison for the smallest infraction.

The Dallas News' Brooks Egerton tells the story of two probationers - one well-off, related by marriage to a Congressman, and a murderer, the other poor and a teenager at the time of his crime, a stickup netting $2. Both men were given ten years probation by the same judge. But the poor robber violated his probation by smoking marijuana and was given a full life sentence, while the wealthy murderer remains at large with minimal supervision despite numerous violations including four urinalyses testing positive for cocaine. Read the article and you tell me: Where's the justice?

Kudos to Egerton for an excellent report providing a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the probation system.

Via Doc Berman

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