No, James Reardon, a New York City policeman, caught up in a basketball shaving point scandal in the fifties, and author of the “Sweet Life of Jimmy Riley” did not go to Yale, as his sister comically suggested, he went to jail. The system of justice seems to have worked well then. “You did the crime, you do the time.”
Not so today. As well documented in a book titled “The Chickenshit Club” by Pulitzer Prize winner Jesse Eisinger, he explains why no senior executives were jailed for causing the 2008 financial meltdown. Three factors came into play, that also might be evident in former Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver’s, convoluted three-year prosecution and conviction process.
One, powerful people, whether it be politicians or business executives, have the financial resources to hire the best defense attorney’s, protecting themselves from even the hint of prosecution.
Two, the networks they operate under were conciliatory and/or indulging, with ineffective oversight agencies, and political influence often partners in play.
Three, “The courts became a mere handmaiden to settlements privately negotiated on the basis of unknown facts, while the public was deprived of ever knowing the truth in a manner of obvious public importance.” Crime does pay.
The senior executives mentioned will never be hard pressed for a meal. Sheldon Silver however, was convicted on all seven counts in two trials, given similar sentences, with immediate jailing anticipated dating back to 2016.
Breaking news, last Wednesday, Sheldon Silver gained another “stay-out-of-jail” card to at least the end of this year. Our system of justice seems muddled at best. Prove me wrong and let me hear his cell door clanging closed.