Monday, February 22, 2010

$100,000: The Price of Justice?

Here’s a question for you to think about: What will $100,000 buy you in our legal system?

I don’t mean who can you bribe for that sum of money, and I don’t mean how much legal representation can you purchase. No, I’m interested in looking at the crimes you would have to be accused of to be saddled with a bond of $100,000.

A random look around the web
at bail schedules shows the following:

In LA, you’d be required to post a bond of $100,000 for a felony that could land you in prison for 16 years.

In San Francisco, they’re much more specific. $100,000 would be required if you were accused of assaulting a government worker or car jacking.

In San Diego, you’ve got to be charged with kidnapping.

Note that most jurisdictions that have easily accessible bail schedules don’t list any infractions that have bonds approaching $100,000.

If you search for actual crimes where people had to post a $100,000, you also get some interesting results:

Earlier this month actor Rip Torn posted $100,000 in Connecticut for criminal charges including burglary, possession of a revolver without a permit and carrying a firearm while intoxicated.

Last month a Chicago area man had bail set at $100,000 after being charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence.

In December a Seattle man charged with child molestation and exposing himself to a 14-year-old girl had bail set at $100,000.

Also in December a union president in New York City had bail set at $100,000 after being charged with embezzling more than $200,000 of union funds.

And just a little more than a week ago, Dr. Conrad Murray was released on a $100,000 bond after being accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Oh wait, my mistake. That was $100,000 in Singapore dollars! He was released after paying only $75,000 in US cash in Los Angeles.

So, it’s clear that $100,000 will buy you quite a bit in most places.
You have to have done some pretty terrible things to warrant being required to post such a huge sum.

But, here at Butler University, the situation is very different. Here at Butler University, if you ask for a fair disciplinary procedure, one in which you’re not publicly convicted prior to the proceedings and one in which you are permitted to see the evidence against you, you’re told you have to pony up $100,000. You can read their outrageous request here

Even more ridiculous, Butler’s president claims
he knew nothing about this charge made in his name.

Which sounds right: $100,000 for kidnapping, involuntary manslaughter, embezzlement, child molestation, reckless homicide, burglary with a firearm, or car jacking in most portions of the country or $100,000 to delay your appearance before a kangaroo court at Butler University?


  1. Great post. It's both funny and remarkably sad.

  2. So why is Dr. Fong still in office? Can the governing body of the university not percieve the many ways he has demonstrated his incompetence for a leadership role? He behaves like the petty tyrant of some impoverished Third World nation!

    Q.: What is the difference between Butler University and a Girl Scout troop?

    A.: The Girl Scouts have adult leadership.

  3. You're doing a great service, Jess. Please keep shining a bright light on what others want so desperately to keep hidden under a rock. Maybe some on campus who have been cowed into submission will join you.

    I love reading what you write - and I know many, many others do as well.

  4. You've been so quiet lately - I hope you haven't stopped writing. Keep the pressure on these folks. It's amazing how much you've already accomplished.

  5. I agree with the last comment. Keep your blog's coming.

  6. I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................