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As I've said, Leftover Soup isn't set in any particular place, so for Cheryl's ballparking there, I just googled some stats here in Canada and down in the States and played a little rough with them. She may be off by a bit, but she's not a statistician.

In a purely mathematical world, of course, Cheryl's scheme for how to determine sentencing would make perfect sense - the haul from a crime is X, odds of getting caught (according to the most up-to-date actuarial tables) are 1 in Y, so the sentence is always greater than X times Y. The cost to recover from a disaster is A, the odds of it happening to you in a given month are 1 in B, so your monthly insurance bill to cover you is A divided by B, plus a little bit extra so the insurance company stays afloat. Simple.

Of course, in the real world, crimes are often motivated by malice, or stupidity, or a person's location (and I think we can agree that a mugging in a lousy neighborhood shouldn't have a different sentence from one done in a more upscale alley).

As for Jamie's query about the value of a human life, I did some googling for that as well, and depending on who you ask, it's between 6 and 9 million dollars... here in the developed world, anyway. The Capsaicin Lounge's ceviche entree is priced in line with their other dishes, at around $25, so I think Cheryl's going to be okay.

(Monday afternoon, INT: Capsaicin Lounge kitchen)

JH: I didn't know most violent crimes don't get solved.
ChA: I didn't say most, I said half. And it depends on the type of crime. Murders, they usually catch two out of three, but convict about half.
JH: What about home invasion?
ChA: Victim's at home, about three out of four. Victim's not at home, less than one in five.
JH: Mm. You sound like you're taking bets.
ChA: Well, society is taking bets, sure.
ChA: My understanding is that the odds of catching someone are worked into the sentencing. A given act nets you a thousand dollars and the odds of getting busted doing it are one in five, they make sure the penalty works out to more than five grand, so - on average - crime doesn't pay.
JH: Mm. And what's the monetary value of a human life, exactly?
ChA: Well, hopefully more than a plate of sea bass seveechay.
JH: I'm fixing it as fast as I can, make sure Greg's still distracted!