Saturday, May 22, 2010

Forget the Colour of the Collar

Here is a question for you. What is the difference in principal between an embezzler and an unarmed bank robber?

What is the difference between stealing for a mob boss and stealing for a legal and legitimate organization?

The answer is of course none. There is no difference, theft is theft, force is force. So why do we have a distinction of "white collar" and "blue collar" crime?

Lady justice is supposed to be blind but do we as a society draw aside the blindfold just enough to let her know if the person standing accused has a good education or is more well to do? Apparently so.

The story of Benoît Corbeil makes that abundantly clear. The maximum sentence for theft over $5000.00 is life imprisonment, according to this chart, can you imagine our imaginary unarmed bank robber being sentenced for only 15 months after stealing $117,315? Could you imagine a judge entertaining an appeal on the grounds that such a sentence was "too onerous"?

It's time to put the blindfold back on Lady Justice and start handing out sentences for theft that reflect the actual crime.

By the way Corbeil, as far as you loosing your job at Université du Québec à Montréal that is something you should have considered before becoming a thief and a criminal.

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