Friday, April 07, 2006

Penal System in US

One would simply love to live in the US, if only for one reason: The ruthlessness with which the law enforcement machinery goes after the high and mighty — whether politicians or business tycoons — who fall foul of the law. President Nixon's once-powerful aides, including the Attorney-General himself, were tried for their part in the Watergate scandal and put behind bars to serve harsh sentences. Corporate bigwigs caught for violations of the law are similarly meted out stiff sentences after trials lasting six months or less. The two recent cases to hit the headlines concern the former Representative of the US Congress, Mr Randy Cunningham, and Washington's "super-lobbyist," Mr Jack Abramoff. Unlike India's politicians against whom cases drag on for years, and eventually fizzle out, Mr Cunningham straightaway admitted his guilt, and the trial was over in just two months. He has been sent to prison for eight years and four months (the longest awarded to any Congressman) for collecting $2.4 million as bribes; besides, the court has also confiscated $3.65 million and the proceeds from the sale of his mansion. He is the third Congressman in the recent past to go to prison for a long period.

Mr Abramoff was very close to the President and his top advisers for years and enjoyed enormous political clout. He too pleaded guilty to running an extensive network of fraud and corruption and has been sentenced, after a trial of barely a couple of months, to nearly six years. In all such cases, regardless of how big or powerful he may have been, the person sentenced is promptly handcuffed behind his back and marched off to prison and asked to change to prison uniform. No ducking the sentences by various legal ruses is allowed. Trials are over within a few months and sentences are invariably heavy, sometimes going up to 30 years or more. Prisons too are as prisons should be.

Will it not be lovely to have a similar penal system in operation in India as well?

1 comment:

Ezhil said...

Yes.It will be lovely such a repect for penal syste, in India.