MANSFIELD: Sticking Your Head in the Lion’s Mouth

Sending non-violent people to prison — basically, people that we’re just mad at — ranks among the stupidest things we do as a nation. So, following that logic, while I’m mad as hell at the wealthy parents that scammed college entrance requirements to get their unqualified progeny into top universities (which, of course, means a qualified candidate didn’t get in) I don’t think any of them should go to jail, and no doubt the federal prosecutors in the case feel the same way.

However, while the vast majority of the parents are going to plead out and accept their punishment like the good little citizens they’ve pretended to be all of their lives (which should include heavy fines that go toward needy students and some community service work in inner-city schools as well), a few are going to fight the charges, in spite of overwhelming evidence of their culpability and guilt.

These folks are suckers. They are listening to their lawyers, who are blowing smoke up their asses simply to increase billable hours by telling they can beat the charges. Hey, if they lose the cases, the lawyers won’t be the ones that face heavier fines or perhaps prison time. They’ll go on about their business of suckering other idiots into sticking their heads into the lion’s mouth.

Here’s what the parents’ are facing: One, they can elect to have a bench trial in front of a judge only (who, by the way, gets his paycheck cut by the same federal government as the prosecutors) or they can elect to have a trial by jury, which just may be packed with folks who couldn’t afford to send their kids to a top-tier school. Either way, the defendants are probably fucked. The conviction rate in federal trials is somewhere around 96 percent.

But the same arrogance that encouraged them to try to game the system by paying people off to place their child ahead of more deserving students is the same arrogance that’s going to be their undoing in the end. So, maybe I’ll revise my opening statement, perhaps they should go to prison — for felony stupidity.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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