Old Soviet joke:
Two prisoners are talking in the cattle-wagon headed to Siberia.
Prisoner 1: What’s your sentence?
Prisoner 2: Twenty-five years.
Prisoner 1: What did you do to get twenty-five years?
Prisoner 2: Nothing!
Prisoner 1: You’re lying! You expect me to believe that? Everybody knows: For nothing, the sentence is only ten years.
So it is in New Jersey. Dharun Ravi faces ten years’ porridge for having done . . . nothing. Or at worst, if you want to stretch a few points, for having been mildly jerkish. His parents must have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars already, and his life has been totally derailed. For nothing.
They’re wrapping up jury selection at New Brunswick. The great engine of the law rumbles on; to what purpose, in this case, I’m damned if I know.
The best explanation I can come up with for this sick farce is that our nation is now so infested with lawyers, the authorities feel they have to find something for them all to do or else they’ll be breaking windows and overturning garbage bins; so every inharmonious incident, at every level, must be litigated to death.
Will the person who ran off with the principle de minimis non curat lex please return it to the front security desk? Thank you.