Recently, journalism students from the University of Iowa interviewed Adam. They wanted to hear a lawyer’s thoughts on why some crimes are more severe but receive less punishment.
Students were comparing the sentence lengths of the Brock Turner sexual assault case to the actor Wesley Snipe’s tax evasion case. Brock Turner received a six-month sentence whereas Wesley Snipes’ received a three-year sentence. Adam explains that tax evasion is a federal matter and sexual assault typically is a state matter. Federal and state entities have their own sentencing parameters, and judges also have a certain amount of discretion in determining sentence length. Each state has its own laws, judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. Consequently, wide variations can result, and that is why Adam believes that sometimes sentences can be disproportionate to the crimes. The reality is that justice is performed by human beings.
Adam goes on to discuss his view that victimless crimes are not actually crimes. For example, drug users are making a choice and, therefore, it should not be a crime. The large number of people who are convicted sent to prison for nonviolent or victimless crimes is a major reason why American prisons are too full.
Read the article and listen to Adam’s interview here.