Public Comment

Too Big to Jail

By Jagjit Singh
Friday April 25, 2014 - 11:46:00 AM

Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi has recently published an explosive new book, “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap” that chronicles the gross injustices in our judicial system. The income inequality between the wealthiest and vulnerable poor - predominantly people of color - has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. The ongoing drug war has swept tens of thousands predominately poor and people of color in its dragnet and incarcerated them for heavy jail terms often for mild offenses. By contrast, the vast majority of white-collar criminals are swotted with soft noodles and avoid jail time.  

Retiring Security and Exchange, attorney, James Kidney echoed Taibbi’s concerns stating, that his former bosses were “tentative and fearful" to hold Wall Street accountable for the 2008 economic meltdown. During his tenure, Kidney, had tried but was severely hampered to bring charges against more executives in the agency’s 2010 case against Goldman Sachs. He complained bitterly that the SEC has become, "an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors. ... Tough enforcement, risky enforcement, is subject to extensive negotiation and weakening." Taibbi observed that none of perpetrators of white collar crime were ever indicted; nobody went to jail. Taibbi sites one example of an African American man who was arrested for “obstructing pedestrian traffic for standing outside his house” prompting one New York councilman from admonishing the police department for the "epidemic of false arrests."