Sean-Paul Kelley recounts two prosecutions in Texas. First:
My wife has defended indigent mothers charged with Food Stamp Crime. She has never pleaded one out as guilty.
Here's the typical situation if they do not have a good lawyer, as most do not, because they are represented by public defenders who are just collecting an easy paycheck from the State:
$400 a month received by mom for her and two kids. She Fails to report $100 monthly increase in pay where she works 40 hours a week. She is subsequently charged with felony theft By the State.
The punishment for the mom is 10 years defd [deferred] adjudication. This means she goes to see the probation officer regularly. She is fined $1000, plus restitution to the State of Texas.
She gets no more food stamps and the children will get 10% less in food stamps, but they still get them.
The Inspector General of the State of Texas has a big budget, a large well paid investigative work force and they are well paid. My wife says the State's files on each person is voluminous. She also says they go after these 'deadbeat mothers with a vengeance '.
I am in court with XXXXXX XXXXXXXX. She is on a 2 year probation for welfare fraud. She got a job, and [the] state says she did not report that fact to welfare officials. She got about $900 that she was not supposed to. The total cost to her being for being on probation is over $5K. The probation office just extended her probation another year so she can get every single penny paid. She has paid $4,600 so far.
That will help. I'm not excusing this, although the first case certainly could have happened by accident. But this will neither bankrupt us, nor is anyone living easy on this. $100? $900? Yeah, that's fast cars and great steak territory.
But there's no class warfare at all in the U.S.
Welcome to the kleptocracy. The poor are assumed to be guilty, and punitive punishment and restitution is the rule.
A rich man is much harder to prosecute. His lawyer demands a presumption of innocence and a long, up-hill, expensive fight to prove his guilt. So the majority of prosecutions end up in a settlement, a fine, an apology. Conspicuously absent are any admission of guilt, restitution, punishment. If the crimes have anything, anything at all, to do with business efforts to avoid conviction, and the cost of any fines are tax deductible.
The lesson here is to be a bold, graceful, and well connected enough criminal to make enough money to be rich ,and a pillar of the community.
Of course this is well aligned with the idea that if you just make the life of the poor miserable and painful enough they will all work harder to be rich. Once everyone is rich , a possibility for anyone in a 'free country' if they are willing to work hard enough, all the problems will be a thing of the past.
Giving the wealthy a free pass is their just reward for being successful and aligned with God's will. Flogging the outcasts and the poor is the deserved punishment for not aligning themselves with God's will.
With enough brain damage, and a complete lack of empathy, it all makes sense.
As this is Texas they ought to be grateful that they aren't executed.
Well, they only have enough drugs to execute two, anyway, before they run out.