By Randall Amster, CommonDreams
September 8, 2009
In two recent criminal cases in the United States, defendants received similar sentences for very different sorts of actions. In the first, a young man was convicted of negligent homicide for texting while driving and killing two scientists in the process. The New York Times reported  on the case and the sentence meted out to the young man:
"He pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent homicide, but his record will be cleared if he fulfills the sentence imposed by the judge. It included 30 days in jail, 200 hours of community service, and a requirement that he read Les Misérables to learn, like the book's character Jean Valjean, how to make a contribution to society."
In the second case, another young man received a sentence of 300 hours of community service, one year of probation, and a one-year ban from a large swath of land on the U.S.-Mexico border. His crime? Leaving jugs of water in the desert for would-be border crossers, in an attempt to help prevent deaths. [...]
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