A new law in Hungary provides for jailing juveniles who commit the heinous crime of stealing a candy bar. According to provisions of the law, children can be subject to a 20 minute “trial,” convicted and then sentenced to jail. Since the law was passed a year ago at least 300 juveniles have been arrested, sent to court and either threatened with jail or actually sent to prison. According to lldiko Lendvai of the Hungarian Socialist Party, the law is “inhumane, unjust, lacks everyday clemency and does not fulfill it expected purpose.” If the purpose of this law is to reduce crime, but making stealing of minor items a major crime, the result will have to be a higher crime rate, not a lower one. Children are children and they make mistakes. Of course, we adults never make mistakes although it would be interesting if each adult who filled out a tax form had it carefully checked.
The bottom line is there are no 30 minute courts for businessmen who steal millions from people, there are no thirty minutes courts for politicians who sell their votes for money. If you have the money it is doubtful time will be spent in a jail.