Some ignorant comments below about lumping all 'convicts' as 'scum'!
What if someone was arrested and convicted of protesting a war? (Eugene Debs, US presidential candidate 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1916, and 1920 spent much of the 1920's in prison for his views on WWI).
What if someone helped a fugitive slave escape or hide in the US in the 1850's, 1860's?
LAWS MADE BY A PROPERTIED CLASS MUST OCCASIONALLY BE BROKEN AND TESTED.
Walt Whitman, while serving time for failing to pay taxes as a protest to the US/Mexican war, was asked why he was in jail, he turned the question around: "what are you doing OUT THERE?"
Paraphrasing Martin Luther King: It is a moral obligation to violate unjust laws.
Members of the Industrial Workers of the World were jailed on numerous occasions for attempting to speak on street corners. One such incident in my home town resulted in the event known as the Everett Massacre, as people tried to read the bill of rights at the corner of Hewitt & Wetmore Avenues.
Last point... Jews in nazi germany were rounded up and 'convicted' by a perfectly 'lawful' bunch.
Mike, The Everett Citizen