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Playing With: All Crimes Are Equal
Basic Trope: A governing body treats all crimes the same, with equal punishments.
  • Straight: Whenever anyone commits a crime against his society, President Justice always treats them the same.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Whether the crime is stealing a penny from the take-a-penny, leave-a-penny tray or dropping a nuke on a heavily populated area, the punishment is the death penalty.
    • President Justice punishes citizens for any crime by sentencing them for 100 years in prison.
  • Downplayed: Only very severe offenses are considered crimes in the first place (as opposed to perfectly legal personal conflicts). Thus while harsh it isn't utterly insane.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: The President has a ridiculously tiered system of crimes, with varying punishments down to the amount of minutes spent in prison depending on the crime. ("You stole $75,000 worth of goods from a jewellery store? Twelve years, six months, fifteen days, eighteen hours, and twenty-nine minutes in prison. Oh wait, you injured the shopkeeper? ...I'm adding six hours and thirty minutes to your sentence.")
  • Subverted: One crime is treated as much worse than another.
  • Double Subverted: That's because they were wildly varying types of crime (like comparing jaywalking to mass murder). Most crimes are treated as equal.
  • Parodied: All crimes are equal and merit the same punishment...except for one minor crime like staying out too late, which is treated as much, much more heinous than the rest.
  • Zig Zagged: The crime system generally prosecutes all crimes equally, but fairly. However, many vigilantes offer substantial bribes to judges to add longer and more drastic sentencing to crimes. Corrupt judges also add weight to certain crimes over others, but generally justice is equally served.
  • Averted: The crimes are treated differently.
  • Enforced: "We can best demonstrate the system's inherent evil by making them kill everyone, regardless of the crime."
  • Lampshaded: "Well, let's see here — you're not wearing your seatbelt, so that's thirty years in prison. That kid isn't in a car seat — thirty years in prison. And you just shot someone? Thirty years in prison."
  • Invoked: President Justice runs on a staunch anti-crime platform.
  • Exploited: The president's top advisor, a Magnificent Bastard who's gunning for his job, suggests that he implement an ultra-harsh justice system so he can swoop in and take over when the inevitable backlash hits.
  • Defied: "While I am concerned about crime, giving harsh punishments to every lawbreaker might be a bit much."
  • Discussed: "Oh come on! I jaywalked once! Why are you executing me for it? All crimes are not equal!"
  • Conversed: "Wait, why's Stephen in jail this episode? ...He jaywalked? But that's a maximum-security prison! And his fellow inmates are all murderers? Ridiculous!"
  • Implied: At the beginning of the movie, Alice and Bob, who have both just begun their respective sentences, become friends and explain that they're respectively in jail for theft and assault. At the film's end (it's not specified how far into the future this is), they're also released simultaneously.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Since the criminals know that they're going to be facing the same punishment no matter what the crime, they go on a rampage, killing, raping, and looting as they see fit. President Justice just shrugs it off as a side effect of the system, which eventually leads to a massive riot, with massive loss of life for both sides.
    • The insanely harsh justice system leads to a massive amount of prison overcrowding.
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...However, this leads to a takeover by a successor who institutes a fairer and more just system. Consisting of two tiers!
    • All crimes are created equal, but good behavior allows you to run the prison.
  • Played For Laughs: All crimes are punishable by a lengthy prison term except for telling bad jokes, which get you fined.

Back to All Crimes Are Equal.

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