General Question

Pandora's avatar

Should lawyers and law enforcement or law makers, get higher penalties for breaking the laws?

Asked by Pandora (32309points) August 28th, 2023
22 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Law sentences are imposed as punishment and discouragement from breaking laws. However, you see people like Guiliani and Meadows breaking laws because they either believe they are above the laws or can manipulate the laws as they see fit or maybe it’s because money is all that matters to them. Whatever the reason. Lawyers and lawmakers or law enforcement know the laws they break. So shouldn’t their punishment mean they should face a stiffer penalty than someone who doesn’t know the laws?

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elbanditoroso's avatar

Probably, but I am not sure how it would be done. Logistics would be tricky.

Would it include local councilmen and mayors? How low on the political totem pole would you go? State legislature? US Congress? (You run into constitutional issues there).

What about the Supreme Court members? Or lower court judges?

For that matter, I think that clergymen and women (pastors, ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, etc.) should also get higher penalties because they should know better.

Would it include city police? What about police volunteers? Our Sheriff’s Auxiliary (which we have). National Guard?

I think that the upshot of this idea would be that no one in a position to actually make an arrest would ever do so (in other words, the bad guys would get off totally free) because no one wants to put most of these people in jail.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

In some parts of the world they tack on the term
“High” to the crime. Like High treason. For crimes of someone in a high position of power.

ragingloli's avatar

I would be content with them being prosecuted and convicted at the same rate as normal people.
Magatards like to screech about the “2-tiered justice system” because the Orangutan is being prosecuted, but in reality this is one of the few times when the law is applied to politicians as it is to normal criminals.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Zaku Oh. Thanks for the correction.

cookieman's avatar

I agree with @ragingloli. It’d be nice if they were punished the same as anyone else.

Pandora's avatar

I would still consider Trump the same as everyone else. He didn’t study law or knows most rules because he never bothered to learn them. I’m talking about people who have actual knowledge of what is legal and what is not. Trump just thinks everything can be wiped away and can always cry ignorance. I’m talking about the ones who actually can’t claim ignorance. For instance, Meadows worked in Congress and knows full well that the Hatch Act The law unambiguously prohibits the Chief of Staff from using “his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” Meadows is not a stupid man. He’s trying to say now that interfering falls within his former employment. The Hatch Act makes it clear that it does not.
Actually, I think that anyone with reasonable knowledge of the laws in place who decides to ignore them should face a stiff penalty compared to someone who is ignorant of the law. Like I don’t know every law there is but I feel if I knowingly broke a law, then that should be taken into account vs someone who may not be aware.

SnipSnip's avatar

No. The law should be applied to every one in the same manner.

gorillapaws's avatar

People in places of power and/or trust should have that factored in as an aggravating factor when calculating sentences for people found guilty: teachers, doctors, lawyers, police, politicians, etc. I don’t think they are factored in, but they ought to is my point.

Forever_Free's avatar

Everyone should be held to the same standard of accountability of the law. No more, no less.
Our legal system is complex enough as it is.

LostInParadise's avatar

As they say, ignorance of the law is no excuse. So knowledge of the law should not incur a penalty.

kritiper's avatar

They already do. In the court of public opinion.

Pandora's avatar

@gorillapaws GA, didn’t consider that.

ragingloli's avatar

I am sure that is devastating to them, as they dry their crocodile tears with fresh thousand dollar bills.

Response moderated
Entropy's avatar

IMHO, no. Politicians and lawyers (etc) should not be held to a higher standard than the general public. However they also shouldn’t held to a LOWER standard. I don’t like this bipartisan agreement that you don’t prosecute ex-Presidents or other political actors for lower tier crimes.

Strauss's avatar

@Pandora So shouldn’t their punishment mean they should face a stiffer penalty than someone who doesn’t know the laws?

Usually these types of individuals, in addition to the penalties imposed by the courts, could face sanctions from employers or professional organizations.

ragingloli's avatar

Wait until you learn of “qualified immunity”. Not knowing the law is an active defence for cops when they violate the rights of people they accost.

LostInParadise's avatar

@ragingloli , I never heard of qualified immunity before. That is upsetting. I did a quick Web search and found that the term only applies in the U.S.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think that cases should be brought more often involving officer related complaints.
Most importantly, when “person of the law” goes to trial, we need more realistic outcomes…

Too much change required…

gorillapaws's avatar

@MrGrimm888 “I think that cases should be brought more often involving officer related complaints.
Most importantly, when “person of the law” goes to trial, we need more realistic outcomes…”

Well said. To that end, I think prosecution of police should automatically be handled by prosecutors and judges in a different district.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Well. I’ve seen too many instances where the behavior of a LEO should be IMMEDIATELY delt with by surrounding officers.
Not talked about later. Not mentioned at that officer’s review.
I don’t remember the subway kid’s name, but years ago a cop shot a young man who was face down, and handcuffed. As terrible as that was, there were three other cops in feet of each other.
Bottom line, when that cop shot that young man, his fellow officers should have drawn on the cop. Disarmed, and arrested him. Fuck the paperwork, and procedure.
I disciplined officers under my authority. Although I only had real authority in the private sector later in life. Not working the streets in my early 20’s…

AND when a boy in blue is obviously at fault, punish accordingly. ESPECIALLY now, when most of the worst examples are video recorded.

I understand why you would want a case like this tried elsewhere, but I disagree.
We have SLED (in my state,) Internal Affairs for each dept. Counseling. Therapist. Or, FBI, ATF, or whomever else we pay to do their fucking jobs… With appropriate vigor, and intentions of upholding the oaths they all took…

There are systems in place, for about every kind of “law job,” to keep people honest. They just don’t do it…

That’s the WHOLE problem, right?
We’re sitting here debating if those who work in any branch of law creation/defense, judgement, or enforcement should have stiffer penalties?..

A big start would be if the system worked the same, for EVERYONE. From Crack Whore, to POTUS, justice is supposed to be blind. But American justice, is in huge need of overhaul…

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