I've liked The Economist's coverage of corrections issues in the United States over the years, but a friend pointed out an amusing part of their last piece that my eyes somehow glazed over the first time I read it:
Such cases account for only a tiny share of the Americans behind bars, but they still matter. When so many people are technically breaking the law, it is up to prosecutors to decide whom to pursue. No doubt most prosecutors choose wisely. But members of unpopular groups may not find that reassuring. Ms Thompson, for example, was prosecuted just before an election, at a time when allegations of public corruption in Wisconsin were in the news. Some prosecutors, such as Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced ex-governor of New York, have built political careers by nailing people whom voters don’t like, such as financiers.
When I think of the cultural trends and social biases that have led to America having an excessively large, punitive, costly, and ineffective corrections system, hatred of financiers is not one of them.
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