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Sinclair portrays the American justice system as a "sham and loathesome mockery,' and a hot-bed of corruption. Described as ‘graft,’ corruption is a part of Jurgis' everyday life. Sinclair's portrayal comes to a head when Jurgis is tried and imprisoned, but that those who try him have committed far greater crimes. In other words, the characters in powerful positions (police, politicians, and judges) are both amoral and unjust. Jurgis never had a fighting chance, which makes Sinclair's vision of justice in America nonexistent.
From the text:
"Jurgis stood upright; trembling with passion, his hands clenched and his arms upraised, his whole soul ablaze with hatred and defiance. Ten thousand curses upon them and their law! Their justice--it was a lie, it was a lie, a hideous, brutal lie, a thing too black and hateful for any world but a world of nightmares. It was a sham and a loathsome mockery. There was no justice, there was no right, anywhere in it--it was only force, it was tyranny, the will and the power, reckless and unrestrained! They had ground him beneath their heel, they had devoured all his substance; they had murdered his old father, they had broken and wrecked his wife, they had crushed and cowed his whole family; and now they were through with him, they had no further use for him--and because he had interfered with them, had gotten in their way, this was what they had done to him! They had put him behind bars, as if he had been a wild beast, a thing without sense or reason, without rights, without affections, without feelings. Nay, they would not even have treated a beast as they had treated him! Would any man in his senses have trapped a wild thing in its lair, and left its young behind to die?"
The Jungle/ Chapter 16