According to Google search, China’s population in 2012 was four times larger than the USA’s 2012 populuation: 1.315 billion to 314 million, and yet, according to this damning report by the Pew Center on the States, One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008, the USA is far less free than the People’s Republic of China in terms of the fraction of each country’s prison population: “At the start of 2008, our country had over 2 million people locked up, followed only by China with 1.5 million persons behind bars. America incarcerates more people now than at any other time in our history; one person out of every 100 [?] is in jail or prison.” [See footnote #1 below.] As an aside, given this hard data, can you blame Edward Snowden for wanting to avoid the USA’s criminal (in)justice system? [See also footnote #2.]
Footnote #1: Given that 2 million goes into 314 million approximately 157 times, the 1 in 100 number cited by the Pew Center is pure hyperbole, but nevertheless Pew’s larger point is well-taken.
Footnote #2: prior probability also wonders whether China has any secret courts, like the FISA court in the USA, and whether the various NSA surveillance programs are more sophisticated and invasive than China’s electronic surveillance methods?
Land of the Free?