U.S.: Pussy Riot Sentence “Disproportionate”


I just gotta say it: Most of the reaction outside of Russia about the Pussy Riot sentencing has characterized the two-year prison term for the punk band as “unfair” or derivatives thereof. The U.S. embassy in Moscow most recently claimed the ruling was “disproportionate” to the crime. Coming from the country renowned for having the highest percentage of its own citizenry locked up in a (very lucrative and partially privatized) prison system, often for crimes tantamount to possessing a baggie of Jamaican blue, Peruvian pink, or Burma brown, that sounds kinda ludicrous, you ask me.

Another interesting snippet. This U.S. is among the top five countries in the world in meting out the death penalty, and the leader in the western world. The top four countries before the U.S. are: 1) China, 2) Iran 3) North Korea, and 4) Yemen. Pretty interesting company for the world’s top democracy who likes to lecture everybody else on how to manage their human rights (like Russia). Let’s also discuss the explosive growth of prisoners in immigration prisons, many of the which are privately controlled. So a country that locks up people because they got caught with a bag of coke, or because they snuck over the border from Mexico, or a nation that injects someone with poison because he couldn’t afford good enough lawyers (while someone who committed far worse crimes walked) wants to discuss whether another sovereign nation’s punishments fits the crime.

I’m fairly certain that few people in the State Department know Russia’s history and the complex ties between its state, its judicial system, and its faith well enough to understand how and why it could have that arrived at the two-year jail sentence for the three Pussy Riot members. Anything short of that smells like  bunk.

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About Pete Mladineo


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