Working up the chain

Each crook caught has to rat on a higher-level crook or face a long stretch in stir.
At the top of the chain is Tom DeLay.
Or is he the top?

A jilted fiancee gave prosecutors enough information on Michael Scanlon, Tom DeLay’s former press secretary, to send him to prison.

To reduce his sentence, Scanlong gave them enough information to get Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff, in turn, gave the prosecutors enough to get, among others, Tony Rudy, Tom DeLay’s former deputy chief of staff.

Rudy now seems to have given them enough to get Edwin Buckham, previously identified as DeLay’s “spiritual adviser” and partner-in-crime.

Now Buckham has to give them DeLay, or plan to spend a long, long time in prison.

And that’s the way it works.

Footnote An exercise for the reader: Whom would DeLay have to give up avoid a long prison term? Remember that the name of the game is “working up the chain.”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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