If you are poor:-
Leandro Andrade is serving a life sentence in California for stealing five videotapes from a K-Mart. He was convicted under the state's three strikes law, after convictions for petty theft, burglary, and possession of marijuana. Justice David Souter noted that Andrade "committed theft of trifling value...with no violent crimes against the person."
-Sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott received double life sentences in 1994 for an $11 armed robbery, the first criminal for either of them. They spent 17 years in jail.
As of 2003 in California there were 344 individuals serving sentences of 25 years or more for shoplifting as a third offense, in many cases after two non-violent offenses.
If you are the rich:-
The Savings and Loan fraud cost the nation between $300 billion and $500 billion, about 100 times more than the total cost of burglaries in 2010. The financial system bailout has already cost the country $3 trillion.
Goldman Sachs packaged bad debt, sold it under a different name, persuaded ratings services to label it AAA, and then bet against it by selling it short. Other firms accused of fraud and insider trading were Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, and Wells Fargo.
New York Times reported in 2008 that the Justice Department had postponed the bribery or fraud prosecutions of over 50 corporations, choosing instead to enter into agreements involving fines and 'monitoring' periods.
"The financial system led us into the crisis and it will lead us out." -- Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein.
"Western-style private enterprise...will lead the world out of the mess it led the world into." -- Chicago Tribune.
"If capitalism is perceived to not be working in America...it's because the system isn't capitalist enough." -- Rachel Marsden