Attorneys for Harvey Weinstein, the infamous movie director and sex fiend who has angered so much of the country by his legal and illegal sexual liasons, are asking for ‘mercy’ because he is old and now broke as reported by AP News.
With prosecutors seeking a severe punishment for Harvey Weinstein in his landmark #MeToo case, his lawyers argued on Monday that he deserves mercy for his already “historic fall from grace” and serious health issues.
In a letter filed in advance of Weinstein’s sentencing on Wednesday for his New York City rape conviction, his defense team asked Judge James Burke to give him to only five years behind bars — a far cry from the potential 29-year maximum term allowed by law.
A man who was once admired for putting part of his fortune into charitable causes during his rise to one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers now “cannot walk outside without being heckled,” the papers say. “He has lost his means to earn a living. Simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media.” (source\)
I am not saying that one should not have mercy. Mercy is absolutely critical in any case to be preferred to justice whenever it is reasonably possible, because one should not want for another person that which one would also not want for himself or his loved ones, as such is only right. This is why one must pray for all people, even difficult ones, that God would have mercy, for as Sacred Scripture says in the words of Our Lord Himself, “If you only love others, what love do you have?”
I am asking about the context of many other cases.
In the US, prison is a business for many major companies who profit off of government contracts housing the incarcerated and making them labor for slave wages, since prisoners can be legally enslaved per the 13th Amendment of the Constitution that claimed to abolish slavery, but just put the power of slavery into the government’s hands as opposed to the hands of private citizens.
Consider that approximately 750,000 people are in prison for non-violent drug offenses, or about 25% of the total population of all prisoners.
I am not saying that doing drugs is good, or that one should encourage taking drugs.
I am asking the question of, for many of these people, why do they need to be in jail, something which spends taxpayer money on resources, destroys a man’s life (since it is very hard for the incarcerated, even with good intentions, to return to normal life as businesses will refuse to hire such and owing to a lack of support networks or other conditions and the fact that the economy is in poor shape and worsening, often return to crime just to try to earn money to pay basic bills), and does not involve violent crime against another person or man’s property?
Could it be possible that, at least some of such people might benefit greatly from clemency from the courts?
Having considered this, look at the case of Weinstein, a wealthy movie director and pervert in Hollywood who has been found guilty of sexual assault and rape, and his attorneys are asking for a short prison term because since he is old, it would be a “life sentence” for him.
Yet what does one say to people jailed for decades-long prison sentences over small crimes such as the above? What about the many people that have been wrongly incarcerated that The Innocence Project has helped, and when they asked for examination of evidence, the courts told them for years that they were wrong and had to stay in jail?
While no court system is perfect, there is a pattern that began in particular during the 1980s and 1990s of locking people up over small things for a very long time. This trend has continued. At the same time, there is a tendency of people who commit serious crimes to receive clemency when they do not deserve it.
One may recall that Trump’s first pardon was that of Shalom Rubashkin, a Jewish meat packing plant owner who committed egregious financial fraud and enslaved hundreds of poor Guatemalan migrants in his factories.
Who is the greater “criminal” in Rubashkin’s case? The “illegal migrant” looking for a work fleeing violence in his homeland largely created by the US, or the slave-driving thief Rubashkin?
Yet people will point to the migrant as “the problem”.
If Weinstein’s attorneys want to discuss clemency for him, then he can get in the back of the line as there are a lot more people with far less serious crimes or “crimes” that need to be dealt with before him, as the attorneys who make such claims are often the first ones to take a poor or small man and try to destroy him in the name of expanding their own wallets.