In case you missed the memo, American justice is for sale.  If you’re rich enough, you can even kill people, be proven that you did so, and not go to jail. 

Actually, right after you kill people, you should try to run away. Then, when you’re caught, you should lay the blame on your friend. When your lie doesn’t check out, that’s ok because you can buy your way out of that, too. 

Did I mention you have to be from a rich and powerful family? Oh, and it really helps if you’re in Florida.

Let’s take a look at a case study: 

In February 2009, Ryan LeVin, a rich jewelry heir, killed two British businessmen when his Porsche jumped the sidewalk and ran them over. LeVin, who was racing against a BMW driven by his friend, topped 100 mph.   

After killing the Brits, he fled the scene of the accident. When caught, he claimed he switched cars with his BWM-driving friend and it was his friend who was behind the wheel for the homicide. Finally, last Friday, he admitted to killing the two men and pled guilty to fleeing the scene of an accident and two counts of vehicular homicide.

What was the punishment? Two years of house arrest, 10 years of probation, a life-time driving ban, and paying an undisclosed (presumably very large) sum to the bereaved family members of the two Brits (Florida’s Local10 said a source claimed it was just $4 million for both families). 

The bereaved British family members pushed for this deal because they wanted to get paid quickly; if it weren’t for this deal, the case might have dragged on for a while in civil courts before the families would have been paid, if at all.

“We have been living in uncertainty and financial need. We need closure so we can start to move on,” said one of the British widows.

The two killed men were survived by a total of two wives and six children.

LeVin’s case illustrates a few more takeaways:

- Not only do you have to be rich, your victim’s family also has to be poor.

- Ideally, your victim should be the breadwinner of a large household; that way, his family members would be desperate for quick cash.

- Suggest to the victim’s family that if they don’t make a deal, it’s going to take them a long time to collect compensation, if any at all.

- It helps if the victim’s family is from out of town and just wants the whole ordeal to be over.

- Be in Florida.  Among other things, it allows families to trade justice for quick money.