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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:21 PM
Original message
So they caught the guy who stole my laptop
On Thanksgiving, my brand new laptop was stolen from my bedroom.

Yesterday the police caught a man they believe responsible for a large number of burglaries in my neighborhood.

The man's got a history of burglary and prowling, and he'll be eligible for three-strikes under California law.

I'm glad they caught the guy, but I feel a little shitty that the guy could be put away for life just for stealing something of mine. My laptop was expensive, but wasn't the end of the world.

Any thoughts?
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't like Draconian laws,
and I put the three strikes provision in that category. I think each case should be looked at individually before someone is put in jail for life.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
33. I think...
... the judge or the jury (whoever would normally determine the sentence) should have the option of applying the 3 strikes law.

If I were a juror, I would apply it in cases where 2 or 3 of the crimes involved violence or the threat of violence.

Burglary wouldn't cut it.
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Catch22Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hard to feel sorry for someone on their third strike
Edited on Fri Feb-03-06 08:24 PM by Catch22Dem
There's always an alternative to crime.

ON EDIT: Having said that, a life sentance for any kind of burglarly is rather ridiculous. I think life sentences ought to be reserved for violent crimes.
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sasha031 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. a good deal of the time desperate people steal
due to substance abuse. In a perfect world underlying problems would be addressed and treated.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. This is why our prisons are overcrowded with prisoners who
were drug dealers or thieves, but not violent. So if the guy who stole the laptop, gets two more strikes on him, he will end up in prison, with serial killers and rapists. I think this law is really wrong.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. He already has two strikes
He could go away for life.

Admittedly, he's under suspicion of 12 burglaries, and they have evidence linking him to 3 of the 12 burglaries so far, but still, this town has a crappy job market and HUGE drug problems. I don't know what the guy's deal is, but treating him like a rapist or murderer seems extreme.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. See, I think guys like him, especially if they are on drugs should
be evaluated for rehab. I don't think all criminals can be rehabed, but we should try with the ones who show promise. Putting someone like this away for a life sentence is only going to harden him. No doubt he will get out eventually on parole for good behavior, but then he probably will be a real menace to society.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Either he'll be a real menace
or he'll be so old that letting him out would be cruel. He's 35 now, and if he gets 30 years, he'll be 65.

I think we should have totally seperate facilities for violent and nonviolent crime.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Right, and burglaries that net laptops and presumably other
big ticket items aren't quite the same as stealing a 40 ounce bottle of beer for the third time. This guy was into serious theft.

I think it was Red Skelton who gave people three chances: the first time they screwed him over it was a mistake and we all make mistakes. The second time, it was the beginning of a bad habit and bore close watching. The third time they were dead, and one doesn't speak ill of the dead. While I can't condone the DP for anything, much less theft, it does bring up the fact that the guy had two wakeup calls from the system that he was doing something very wrong and to knock it off. With the third screwup, the society as a whole has the right to protect itself, because there will be more if it doesn't.

The sentencing should be less Draconian for mere theft, though. I can see it more if it's a violent crime.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Burglary often results in violence.
It is not a nonviolent crime.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. There are differences. When I was a bartender the police always
told me to be concerned about the stick up guy, because he isn't doing it just for the money, but for the thrill as well and most likely would be violent. On the other hand the sneak artist, or burglar just wants the goods or money. He doesn't want any violence or confrontation but he could become violent if caught in the act because he will panic.

I think the laptop theif falls into the burglary catagory and is for the most part non-violent unless confronted.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. Xemasab WAS home when this happened.
There was a very real chance of discovery and violence.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. This is why some states treat circumstances of burglary differently
Burglary in houses is presumed to be more serious than that of businesses exactly because of the risk of interaction with an occupant. Similarly, home burglaries at night are treated more seriously than daytime burglaries. In some states the level of the charge is determined by those circumstances. The laws don't work this way in all states and I don't know how CA handles the charges.

As for XemaSab's case, I understand why she feel bad about the 3-strikes aspect because like all determinant sentencing, there's no room for extenuating circumstances.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Second story guys pride themselves of being able to steal
things right under the noses of the owners, while they are at home, but they could be violent if cornered true because they are also getting a vicarious thrill from the act.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #32
37. He just opened the window and took the laptop
I was stupid to leave it that near the window. I don't think he actually entered the home.

And another thing, I've thought about this guy, and he was out robbing houses on Thanksgiving. How pathetic is that? :shrug:
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm not supportive of three strikes
but if he knew he was eligible and ran around ripping off you and your neighbors I can't see wasting much head space feeling bad for him. :shrug:
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blonndee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. I hate the three strikes law. I wish he could just do the
"appropriate" penalty for stealing your laptop, whatever that is.

Will you get it back? I lost a TV, VCR and diamond ring stolen out of my house and even though they caught the guy I never got mine back.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. If this guy is convicted of dozens of break-ins...
and the judge decides to make the sentences consecutive, it is almost a life sentence anyway.
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blonndee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. Hmm, well I don't know then. On one hand it seems fair to
make them "consecutive," on the other it seems like the judge ought to at least be able to consider mitigating circumstances, like, did all the crimes occur within a certain period of time when, say, the guy was a meth addict or whatever? I'm not saying that exCUSES the crime, but that people often behave as they normally wouldn't under certain life circumstances and perhaps are more able to be rehabilitated (again, whatever that really means) than might others.

I'm also just not sure that these long, extended sentences are really the answer to such kinds of crime. And I really do have a problem with "mandatory" anything when it comes to punishment, unless maybe it's violent crime.

What do you think?
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. I think judges ought to have great discretion.
In a case like this... Three priors. Dozens of residential break-ins. (Burglarizing a business isn't as bad in my book.) Well, I'd say make them consecutive.

And this really does prevent crime because this person won't be in any condition to break into another home when he's 67 years old and finally out on parole.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. My husband got his car stolen once.
He did get it back, or at least the shell with a license plate back. Everything else had been stripped off. They never caught who did it, but at least the insurance got it fixed. I thought they should just get him a new car, but they actually got it rebuilt from the bottom up as good as new. For all I know some of the original parts may have been put back in it recycled from the black market.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. Appropriate penalty..... make him listen to
Oreilly, Shannity, and Coulter 24/7. Then when he cracks.... he will have other things on his mind than theft... hopefully.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #27
44. "Cruel and unusual punishment". Unspeakably so.
Edited on Sat Feb-04-06 02:58 PM by eppur_se_muova
:evilgrin:
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. Steal a laptop....
....spend your life in prison.
Bankrupt a comapny/steal billion$$$....
...get 6 months in "Club Fed".
Kill 100,000 people in a BS war.....
...become leader of the "free" world!

There is no "equal protection under the law"!
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FreedomAngel82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
11. I agree with you
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. right wingers love draconian laws
Right wingers would not feel the same about their laptop.
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. they'd probably be pretty damned worried
You know, in case someone found all their porn
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. haha! True.
Right wingers are punitive but not about their own perversions.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
14. Burglary of a dwelling is a quantum leap
This is a crime that endangers lives. It is most appropriate to give punishment enhancements for this crime.
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. If you're going to have a "3 strikes" law, at least amend it...
Don't just lump all crimes into the same basket for the "3 strikes". Make it so that the law applies to violent felonies such as assault & battery, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, murder, bank robbery, kidnapping, etc.

Although I'm somewhat uneasy about the whole assault & battery laws. Technically, if you merely touch someone in a threatening manner without their consent, that could be considered assault & battery. If you merely pretend that you're going to hit someone - if you bring your fist back in a threatening manner - that is classified as assault. Battery is when you actually hit someone, hence the assault and battery.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. I agree
It should only be for violent crime and sex crimes (not even bank robbery) and it should be two strikes.

The first time, well, people get angry and make mistakes, but the second violent crime shows that the person is a danger and should go away for life.
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. Bank robbery if violence is used during it
Even using a gun during a bank robbery would be grounds in my book. Too many chances that something could go horribly wrong.
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slor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
20. I don't know XemaSab...
I mean, I do not know you, but I shudder to think of what may have happened if you had been home. This is a tough call.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I actually WAS home
I was goofing off on DU in the other room. :shrug:
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slor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. Holy Shit!
Glad you are OK.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #23
39. You sure were lucky
the deadbeat brother of my neighbor broke into a woman's house and spent hours there gathering up a bunch of her stuff to take with him. Unfortunately the woman came home from work and the guy beat her to death with a metal pot that was her own. It was an awful violent murder and now the guy is in the slam (hopefully) for life.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
28. It's not your fault, it's a crummy law.
I don't like it, either, but you had to report the theft, and you couldn't know the consequences of it.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 03:59 AM
Response to Reply #28
40. What jobycom said.
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-03-06 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
34. We should have a "3 Strikes" rule for Presidents that LIE 3 times....
Edited on Fri Feb-03-06 09:36 PM by file83
...and then IMPEACH!

Bush woulda been outta office by February 2001.
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Tulum_Moon Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. I do not agree with the three strikes your out law
This is the most raciest and hateful law ever. It puts petty thieves in with murderers and child molesters. Above all others, judges should have discretion as to sentence their convicted. It puts sentencing out of their hands of our elected officials and chosen judiciary. This is something as a people we need to fight against.
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. It is a stupid law - I agree. That was the point of my joke.
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
38. My take on 3 strikes laws is that they should be replaced
by some sort of 'cumulative' sentencing. After you've gotten your third strike, you serve the appropriate sentence for that crime, and get the sentence for your first two crimes added on. After your fourth strike, you serve the sentence for that crime plus the standard sentence for crimes 1, 2, and 3, and so on. That way, if you are making a habit of petty crimes the jail time will ramp up slowly, but if your crimes are major you will quickly get up into the life sentence range...

The jump straight to a life sentence after #3 seems too harsh to me, particularly for those on the low end of the criminality scale (although I'm not losing any sleep over it).
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Wise Doubter Donating Member (458 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 04:08 AM
Response to Original message
41. Not sure if I feel too sorry for this scumbag.
He knew the outcome, considering he knew he already had 2 strikes. I`m sure he knows the California law very well.

The ol` " I`ll never get caught again" syndrome.

Breaking and entering has big potential for heavy violence. A burglar doesn`t know for sure if someone is home or not UNTIL they have entered a home.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 05:47 AM
Response to Original message
42. The previous two "strikes" need to be violent felonies
All the same, the law is over the top. Judges need to have discretion and twisted baseball metaphors do not make good law.
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Mr.Green93 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-04-06 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
43. Just tell police that is not your laptop
Then they won't have evidence of a crime and this person will have another chance at a productive life.
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