"Another question one could ask: (do) the filthy rich get a better deal, than the regular joe-blow?"
Lol! You've never been one of the bad guys, huh? Yes. Most of the time (if you go through the process legitimtately) you can usually afford a better lawyer or team of lawyers and if you are given the option of bail then you can buy your freedom temporarily, which will also count as time served. Also, if the judge knows you are wealthy he will look at you as a benefit to the community and also take note that you've done well for yourself and would like to see that continuing. If you were poor and are up against charges then you will be deemed as poor to society and looked at with little hope even before your case would start.
P-Angel, there are lots of factors on race too. What you will notice about black people is that it works both ways. If people are unfavorable of black people then they might call them a nasty name or things like that BUT! In the legal system it ay actually work well for them. For example: About 3 or 4 months ago right here in Rochester two black men were arrested for shooting at a young guy out of the window of their car. They guy made it and he is alive but he was shot twice in the arm and stomach area which could have killed him. Do you know what the two black men got as punishment? 5 years probation each. They got probation because in the eyes of the public, if they were to get a prison term the judge would be seen as racist.
Public and Politics. Those two factors are a hundred times more important than how good your representation is. For another example: I am facing charges right now for a crime that (may or may not have) been commited 2 months ago. Now, by the book and as punishment of the 7 laws I (may have) broke I could (by the book) face up to 39 years in prison. However, I had two accomplisses who have already confessed and they have been made public where as I have remained in the shadows. This could have two outcomes based completely on the public's opinion.
.1) The judge and the public will see the other two be put to jail and I get off scot-free or with light probation because they would be looked at as the bigger fry which is what political justice is all about.
.2) Because of my legnthy criminal history and the fact that my name is known as "detrimental" to society (which is a load of butter) I can be looked at as the bigger fry if I were to go to jail. The upside of that,it wont be a long sentance.