America: A Modern Babylon?

A modern example of a case where a crime has been punished wrongly due to the economic background or social status was the Brock Turner case. Brock Turner is a Caucasian male who attended the University of Stanford. He was caught and found guilty of raping a girl while he was at school. His sentence was a lot less than what it should have been and showed blatant discrimination going on throughout his case. The ability to let someone who did such a terrible thing get off the hook is a flaw in our legal system and is an issue that needs to be addressed.

This is a horrific act and is usually punished with a lot of time served in prison no matter your color, race, wealth or anything you can think of. However, in this case, Brock Turner was only sentenced to six months in jail. This was a very light sentence and given to Brock Turner due to the race and economic status he had at the time. He was an athlete at a very prestigious institution and was from a very wealthy background. This will not be the case if you look at another person from the opposite side of life. There was another nineteen-year-old student who was of the Asian descent who did the exact same thing, rape a woman. Drinking was involved, just like in the Brock Turner case. He was sentenced to six years of prison and five years of probation (Similar Crime, Different Punishment). This is an obvious case of discrimination due to the social status of the two different situations. The judge of the Turner case had a bias that benefitted Brock Turner because of his status. He said that a prison sentence would have a severe impact on a kid like him. This kind of favoritism would not have been acceptable back when the Code of Hammurabi was in place. 

An act like this when following the Code of Hammurabi would have been punished much worse. The code of Hammurabi was a list of laws that were to be followed and if they were broken, harsh punishments would follow if caught. In the Primary source Egyptian Book of the Dead, the twenty-second code states that “If a man has perpetrated brigandage, and has been caught, that man shall be slain” (Egyptian Book of the Dead). This goes to show that the laws back then were a lot harsher on the people due to their actions. If you get caught breaking this law stated above, you would be expected to be put to death. I can’t imagine the repercussions if you were to be caught raping a girl like in the Brock Turner case back in that time. He only got six months compared to a death sentence. This kind of easy punishment allows people to think that they can get away with terrible acts as the one Tuner did. Instead, if you were to punish a lot harsher when wrong things were done, people would be afraid to and would not do the things that we see happening time and time again in this day in age.

To fix this system, we have to forwardly, lay down the law to establish a foothold in the legal system. To put a sense of fear into the people, that things like this are just not acceptable anymore. 

Word Count: 565

Michael Salisbury

Sources:

Code Of Hammurabi

https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pennsylvania-sexual-assault-20160721-snap-story.html

Ancient Egypt, Egyptian Book of the Dead. Hymn to the Nile

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