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Foreign Affairs

Equality Before the Law

As Justin notes below, the leader of the International Monetary Fund and possible successor to Nicolas Sarkozy was arrested recently in New York City for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid. The French response? Complaints, of course, and accusations that our system of justice is too violent. Now, while there is certainly something to the argument over whether or not photographs of handcuffed suspects ought to be published, this line from the French Green Party leader and presidential candidate is the key reason why, our deficiencies aside, the American justice system is still better than the French: Ms. Joly...added that the American justice system "doesn't distinguish between the director of the I.M.F. and any other suspect." No, it does not, and thank God for that.
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why, our deficiencies aside, the American justice system is still better than the French:

No. The arrest of M. Strauss-Kahn and the comments of various folks back home are an indicator of how the practice of the administration of justice may in certain respects be better here than there. You are going to have to marshal a great deal more to make the case that whatever is done in France is worse than what Conrad Black has called the American 'prosecutocracy'.

the real Straussian con job.... The delicious prospect of jail time for a hubristic French socialist who gives away money to dubious Third World enterprises....

You have confounded the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. (And whether you disapprove or not of either, the execution of their institutional missions is not a common crime).

the third world stuff may be more a blunder than a crime, no matter whose auspices. I had no quarrel with Wolfowitz at World Bank, though his enemies found excuses.

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