Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sometimes Justice Really is Blind

Two current stories have reminded me of how our country has different tracks for justice when it comes to wrong doing.  The first is the story about the mother in Ohio who sent her children to schools in a district outside of where they were supposed to be.  Apparently, there are laws in Ohio that disallow that type of activity.  Eventually, the mom was caught, I assume that children were removed from that school district, and the mom was convicted and sentenced for her crimes.  In spite of aspects of this story that I didn't know (it never occurred to me that a child couldn't go to a different school if there is a legitimate address that can be used; I thought athletes did this sort of thing all over the country), if there were violations identified and crimes committed, then justice was served.

Then there is the story of Massey Energy, the company that owned the West Virginia mine (Upper Big Branch) that exploded last year.  I wrote two blog posts (here and here) about that situation, making sure to note the massive number of violations incurred by the company that, I believe, led to the explosion.  I've now just read that Massey has been sold to a larger energy company, and that it will likely avoid having to deal with the violations specific to Massey.  The new company will absorb those costs, and the shareholders of Massey will likely make a healthy profit from the sale.  Meanwhile, 29 families have been changed forever, and the company responsible for that horrific change won't even suffer for those violations, more than 3,000 of them.

I just feel like these two stories are indicative of what happens all too often in the U.S.  Someone trying to do better for his/her family runs afoul of the law, and justice is served.  Profitable company runs afoul of the law, and justice never has a chance to be considered, because of a deal somewhere that ensures that those with the most at stake, regardless of the violations, will be able to keep the maximum profits.

Deep down, I know that it doesn't break down that simplistically, but it is tiresome seeing the same pattern appear time and again.

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