Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Flavors of Justice

It's a funny old world. Paris Hilton was freed from prison after a day or so. Had she been a total unknown she would not have been and her sentence might have been longer, too, especially if she happened to be black, say. Though the whole case seems too trivial to comment on, the idea of justice as differentiated by money and fame is a dismal one. Yet we appear to be accustomed to that.

What is the lesson she learned from her experience? What is the lesson others learned? That it is possible to get away with pretty much anything if you have the right social signals. Well, this also suggests that it might be equally likely to be totally innocent, yet have the system fall on you like a ton of racist bricks if you lack those signals that are needed.

Remember the California case of the seventeen-year old who was taken to the hospital by some soccer players from a party where she supposedly wanted to have a train of young inebriated men? Remember how the DA decided that there was no case to prosecute anyone for sexual assault? Well, Jerry Brown is going to look into that case:

California Attorney General Jerry Brown will now look at the De Anza College rape case after the Santa Clara County District Attorney made the request.
A deputy in the office of DA Dolores Carr says she is confident Brown will reach the same conclusion, that there is insufficient evidence to file charges in the case.

In a move experts call unusual but not unprecedented, the Santa Clara County DA has asked the state attorney general to review her decision not to charge two De Anza baseball players in the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl.

The victim told deputies it happened at the South Buena Vista home of one of the players. The National Organization for Women, which rallies for and counseled the alleged victim, says it's a victory.

Mandy Benson, CA National Organization for Women: "I think it means that they really heard the victim. The victim has asked for this."

Jerry Brown, Calif. Attorney General: "Just got the request. We're going to take a very hard look at this case, make an independent review, and when we've completed that I'll make an announcement, either take some action or to validate what's been done"

Is this a step for the old dame justice? Or just another layer in the whitewashing? We'll see, I guess.