A Cap-And-Trade System For Crime

August 9, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

In China there exists a sort of cap and trade system for crime writes Geoffrey Sant:

  • The 99% Occupy Wall Street movement enthralled the United States but income inequality is far worse in China.
  • To say nothing of political inequality. There is an elite that is made up of a few close knit families.
  • At times when a member of this elite is sentenced jail time for a crime, they will pay a body double to take their place.
  • Rates go for as little as $31 a day. The double’s family may also be cared for.
  • This is not a new practice. For centuries – even as far back as 1834 – foreigners have reported that the Chinese would hire doubles to serve sentences.
  • In ancient times it was even possible to hire a double to take your place during your execution.
  • In the past some have defended this practice. The criminal still suffers since they have to pay the market value for the crime. Whereas the double gains, as long as it was a voluntary exchange. It’s a cap-and-trade system for crime.
  • The practice might be coming to an end though. Through the use of the internet citizen journalists rapidly identify body doubles, stirring outrage.

To read more including various examples of modern China hiring doubles for crimes that were committed, the inexact science of identifying doubles, the light sentences that the rich receive, how this relates to the Mafia, the lifestyle of the elite in China, how common the practice is, family members that sometimes take the perpetrator’s place, and the historical context of this practice, click here.

Source: Slate