Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Ways to Epic Fail

Caught this story on the Inquirer this morning about the glaring disparity in sentencing between a white guy with child porn on his computer and a black guy with child porn on his computer. The white guy got caught because he crashed the servers at an engineering school in Pennsylvania. The black guy was nicked when he posted about fifteen of the photos online. One judge apparently presided over both cases and was shocked enough by the disparity between sentencing stances that he pulled both men, who had been convicted, and put them in front of the court alongside the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted both cases. The black man was set to received an 8 to 10 line while the white guy was only to serve three months on the hacking charges. The prosecutor tried to explain how cooperative the white guy was (even though said hacker/kiddie porn lover futzed with FBI computers while being so 'cooperative') but the judge noted the lack of criminal history and good working habits of the black man. Clearly something is very wrong here, as the white kid (22-year-old student at the University of Pennsylvania) wasn't even charged with possession of child pornography.
I'm very glad the judge did this as it exposes a clear bias by the prosecution. While both men are guilty, the glaring disparity in sentencing recommendations puts the spotlight on the prosecutor for trying to impose a harsher sentence on a black man versus a white one. I don't know who this prosecutor is but I do hope that he's sacked over the whole thing. Make both men serve the dime at the very least or make the white kid serve a longer sentence since his cooperation also resulted in the disruption of FBI work through his tinkering on FBI computers. To me, the white kid is more of a danger than the black man and his sentence should reflect that.