3.5.1 Matt Taibbi on the two-tiered justice system

Matt Taibbi talks at length about the two tiered US justice system in his book The Divide. He contrasts how mega-corporations can steal millions or billions and are not punished but when a poor person commits a minor crime such as public drunkenness, loitering, or smoking, they are punished by the system to the point of destroying their lives. He highlights how the courts went after Abacus Federal Savings Bank that was "small-enough-to-prosecute", but left alone Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase because they were "to big to fail".

In the clip below, he describes how Andrew Brown, a 35-year-old African-American man, was arrested for "obstructing pedestrian traffic”.

What was his real crime?

It was standing in front of his own house at 1:00AM:

“in the case of Andrew, the guy who was arrested for obstructing pedestrian traffic, he literally could not convince his own lawyer that he was innocent. And it took a long, long time before they got the judge to ask the policeman on duty if there was actually anybody else on the street to obstruct. And it wasn’t until that moment that they dismissed the case, and it just took that long.”   


Contrast this to how the system takes it easy on the rich.  

Brock Turner received a 6-months sentence for raping an unconscious woman but he got out in 3 months “for good behavior”. What’s even crazier is how his father thought he was entitled to a break because his life shouldn’t be ruined for "20 minutes of action”. As the victim pointed out, “he hired a powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding”. What she's telling us is that the rich can afford lawyers who can loophole their way out of facing any consequences for their crimes. In contrast, the poor like Andrew Brown can’t - resulting in the two-tiered system that Prophet Muhammad (saw) warned us about.