Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tiered Justice

From today's Boston Globe on yesterday's latest from the Supreme Court:

"So in some way, Claiborne's name stood before the court yesterday representing all the black men unfairly put away under unjust [drug] laws. But even though Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wondered about the disparity yesterday, Chief Justice John Roberts proclaimed the issue of the 100-to-1 ratio to have 'nothing to do with the individual case.'

[The same day a] jury is found to have overreached on a 100-to-1 [punitive damage to compensatory damage] ratio against Philip Morris...[t]he government seeks to keep punishing people on a 100-to-1 [crack cocaine to powder cocaine] ratio. It may have nothing to do with the individual case, but it has everything to do with American justice."

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