Thursday, April 10, 2008

33 months for Stealing

Another court case in Hong Kong Yesterday

A man who had through stupidity gotten deeply in debt compounded his problems by borrowing money from a Triad (Loan Shark - Gangster - HSBC Executive). Could he pay it back? Of course not, he didn't have a job. So, rather than break his arms the Triads took pity on him and gave him a job in their financial services office. He was given a stack of fake and stolen ATM cards and Visa's, a list of usernames and passwords and told to go to ATM's and use them to try and withdraw cash. Evidently some of them worked because he had 14K on him when the local constabulary caught him which seems a lot for an unemployed guy of his social standing.

The judge called this a "Serious Offense" and gave him 33 months in prison. Maybe he should have run down a kid on a bicycle! However, you figure that he will be paroled in about 10 months of actual time less what he has already served so maybe the sentence isn't so severe. But still, this wasn't a violent crime. Nobody got hurt. I'm not sure that stealing from the Robber-Barron Hong Kong banks is even morally wrong.

Now for the tricky part that uses dodgy logic. Assume he serves the whole sentence of 33 months in jail for stealing $14K. That means that he was sentenced to one month one in jail for about every HKD $425 dollars he stole. So if you then multiple 425 by 10 you $4245.00 Does that mean that the life of a 7 year-old boy is worth less than $4500.00 in Hong Kong? Could the Scout Master who was responsible for running over a little boy have paid the family $5000 and called it square?

As I said in some important ways the logic is dodgy but it is solid enough to
show how messed up the judges in Hong Kong are. Indeed, it shows clearly that in Hong Kong the idea of the punishment fitting the crime is an unknown element of the justice system. Neither of these men received justice.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who thinks maybe he should have trained as a judge

No comments: