Monday, April 27, 2009

Ferris Bueller, Felon

Steinwald wants "a comprehensive list of each offense Ferris and his friends commit during the movie 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Fifty comments (albeit not 50 crimes) at Metafiler so far but it raises an interesting issue. I've always said that no male reaches the age of 21 without committing at least one Class IV Felony (and violating at least seven of the Ten Commandments?). I still think this is pretty much true, and one reason we don't see more evidence on the point is that we don't prosecute when the felon is a loveable upper-middle-class white guy.

Strike that, did not prosecute. These days, of course, we are far less likely to tolerate that kind of invidious class discrimination (white kid gets a ride home in the cruiser; black kid gets to go to the stony lonesome). And what with a security guard and a metal detector on every corner, just about everybody has, shall we say, pretty much lost his sense of humor.

I admit there are some tough issues here, and I'm not certain that I would know how to sort them out. One thing, re race discrimination, I suspect the answer is not to arrest a lot more white kids but a lot fewer black and browns. Re the other stuff, I suppose we have a lethal combination of (a) punitive assistant principals (who else would take that job?) and (b) near-obsessive fear (justified?) on the part of the authorities that they will face third-party liability if they let anything slip.

1 comment:

Steinwald said...

Thanks! That's exactly the point. I hope at the very least I can inspire some lawyers to take pro bono juvenile expungement cases.