In the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black a nun is in Danbury Correctional Facility because she chained herself to a flagpole at a nuclear test site. That’s fiction.
The character is actually based on a real life nun who was convicted of cutting a government-owned chain link fence at a Colorado missile silo, then using baby bottles filled with her own blood to draw a cross in protest. For this non-violent property damage offense she served more than two years at Danbury and an additional three years of probation. (See Common Dreams.)
Meanwhile, in 2013, a 16-year-old rich kid gets in his dada’s F-350 pickup, loads it up with seven of his friends, steals two cases of beer from a convenience store, drives 70 mph in a 40 mph zone with three times the adult legal limit BAC and Valium in his system. He causes an accident that claims the lives of four pedestrians on the side of the road. As we all know by now, the driver, Ethan Couch, received no jail time for his actions.
In 1978, Dan White murdered in cold blood Harvey Milk and the George Moscone, Mayor of San Francisco. The mayor he shot at close range in his office, hitting him in the shoulder, chest, and twice in the head. He then reloaded while walking down the hall and shot Milk five times, again at close range. The final two shots to the head came with the gun pressed against Milk’s skull.
For this actions, Dan White served just five years of a seven year sentence.
Justice is decidedly not a dish that is meted out evenly.
Now I’m thinking about the Michael Dunn case which currently rests in the hands of the jury.
Continue reading →