How rich people buy their way out of prison

Originally published at:


Of course, public defenders don’t enjoy the same level of access to prosecutors.

Roger That!


Well, duh. If folks don’t want to go to prison they should have just been born richer. Also whiter. And more male.


Okay, this is a terribly serious subject so can we drop the dramatic changes in camera angles – 14 cuts (not counting going to or back from photos) in the first 90 seconds. This isn’t an MTV video.


No, I think this would work just fine for a rich black woman. There are just fewer of them.


This strikes me as an important topic. Maybe someone should write about it.

Now get your video camera off my lawn!


A good point. Oprah Winfrey could kill someone on live television with her bare hands and she’ll never do worse than FCI Lompoc.

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Something tells me that she wouldn’t get the same treatment - regardless of money (attorney/law firm, legal fees, plea deal terms, etc.). Being rich provides better options in dealing with the law, but it doesn’t change your gender or ethnic identity. Even Oprah has been profiled while shopping.


That’s horrifying.

But of course, because political campaign contributions are sacred exercises of FREE SPEECH, we can’t possibly throw those DAs in jail for corruption.

Remind me again, making DA’s and judges elected officials is a good idea how?


IMO, horrifying is what the black women without money have to deal with in our legal system. The knowledge that you will always have less or be treated as less than is sometimes stressful, depressing, and/or infuriating…but inescapable.


The US has the best courts that money can buy.
The US has the best Congress that money can buy.
But money doesn’t buy justice, it just buys preferential treatment.
And that, Bucky, is why Finland is a more just country than the US; their traffic fines are proportionate to the offender’s income. We should employ that principle in all fines and penalties.


It is undeniable that wealth provides a huge advantage in the US justice system.

Wealthy people are less likely to be arrested, less likely to be charged, less likely to be convicted, more likely to be given a lenient sentence, more likely to be imprisoned in humane conditions, more likely to be released early, less likely to be subject to onerous parole conditions.

And yet everyone acts as if this is perfectly normal, as if it does not fundamentally contradict the very notion of justice itself.

So long as wealth provides even partial impunity, justice does not exist.


I’m pretty sure that’s the system working as intended. As intended by rich white blokes, aka the only real people.


Yes. Literally.

The USA has always been a plutocracy. It was designed that way.

In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.

James Madison, Statement (1787-06-26) as quoted in Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787 by Robert Yates

Or see here:


This extends beyond the direct justice system, too.

Rich people are less likely to face continued punishment even once their time has been served, as their criminal records are unlikely to be used against them when applying for jobs.

Recidivism of the rich is near non-existent due to the combination of their conviction not unfairly harming future employment prospects, and their still having enough money to pick up where they left off by the time they leave jail.

The poor are, by design, trapped in the criminal justice system once they enter it.


There is no such thing as “the heir to the DuPont fortune” because there is no such thing as a single eponymous Du Pont fortune.

There are many du Pont heirs, and many fortunes. Some of the heirs are nice people who are valued by their communities, who have exerted positive influence on national, state and global politics and economics. And some of them are an egregious waste of skin who ought to be compost.

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Might you be referring to John du Pont, among others?

He was a pretty nasty piece of nutcake, although he did valuable work in ornithology and created the Delaware Natural History Museum before he went completely off his rocker. The DNHM is worth a visit and support.

Reconciling this to the original topic, John du Pont has demonstrated for us how utterly and visibly insane an extremely rich man has to be before he’ll be sent to jail. Turns out it’s pretty crazy!

The social class of “du Pont heirs” includes du Ponts, Greenwalts, Copelands, and many more. There’s actually a du Pont Genealogy corporation in Wilmington that validates and tracks them for the family.