July 28, 2005
White Collar Shame in Miami
People often remark that white collar sentences need to be the same as street crime, and to some extent there does need to be equity here. But there also has to be consideration of the collateral consequences- no matter what the crime might be. In the case of the white collar offender, or individual charged with an offense, one of the greatest consequences is the shame. The shame that this individual feels in the community.
Because of the stature of the person, often in a position of power, the shame may be a much harder fall than the individual committing offenses that are not as public. The street robbery will not result in the robber being on the front page of a newspaper for the whole community to see. Being a "front pager" carries the consequence that every detail of the indictment may be splashed for the world to see across the news.
This blogger mourns the loss of Former Miami Commissioner Arthur E. Teele Jr., although never acquainted with him. According to the Miami Herald here he killed himself in the lobby of the Herald Building today. Publicly humilitated? Yes. To some it may just be news. But to the recipient seeing their world crash down around them, they may see suicide as an exit. Sad? Yes. Those accused of white collar offenses and those who are convicted should not be getting death sentences. Todays death sends a strong message that legislators and courts need to factor in the devastation felt by someone charged with a white collar crime.
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