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Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:23 PM

$1 felony: Florida man charged over soda bill at McDonald's

Source: Christian Science Monitor

A Florida man faces felony charges after refusing to pay $1 for a cup of soda in an East Naples McDonald’s restaurant.

The local manager told sheriff's deputies that Mark Abaire filled a courtesy cup with soda and walked out of the building without paying. A McDonald's employee told him the cup was only for water. However, Abaire filled it with soda from the fountain machine and went to sit outside the restaurant.

The police report stated that when the manager asked him to pay, Abaire declined, cursed at him and refused to leave the premises, the Naples News reported.

Collier County deputies later arrested Abaire who now faces felony charges, according to the same report.


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/1-felony-florida-man-charged-over-soda-bill-165100768.html;_ylt=A2KLOzKvXJhPL1QAST3QtDMD

57 replies, 9834 views

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Reply $1 felony: Florida man charged over soda bill at McDonald's (Original post)
shawn703 Apr 2012 OP
bluesbassman Apr 2012 #1
PoliticAverse Apr 2012 #2
russspeakeasy Apr 2012 #4
PoliticAverse Apr 2012 #5
KamaAina Apr 2012 #17
lib2DaBone Apr 2012 #33
Blue_Tires Apr 2012 #46
yellowcanine Apr 2012 #45
libinnyandia Apr 2012 #3
joeglow3 Apr 2012 #6
grantcart Apr 2012 #18
NickB79 Apr 2012 #41
d_r Apr 2012 #7
cstanleytech Apr 2012 #8
AlbertCat Apr 2012 #9
grasswire Apr 2012 #12
shawn703 Apr 2012 #15
tabasco Apr 2012 #21
shawn703 Apr 2012 #22
tabasco Apr 2012 #24
shawn703 Apr 2012 #27
tabasco Apr 2012 #28
shawn703 Apr 2012 #29
tabasco Apr 2012 #39
shawn703 Apr 2012 #40
NickB79 Apr 2012 #43
tabasco Apr 2012 #51
shawn703 Apr 2012 #52
tabasco Apr 2012 #53
shawn703 Apr 2012 #54
tabasco Apr 2012 #56
shawn703 Apr 2012 #57
alp227 Apr 2012 #23
ZombieHorde Apr 2012 #25
JustABozoOnThisBus Apr 2012 #36
Auggie Apr 2012 #10
grasswire Apr 2012 #11
NickB79 Apr 2012 #42
onenote Apr 2012 #44
Paper Roses Apr 2012 #13
Occulus Apr 2012 #14
CanSocDem Apr 2012 #19
Dogtown Apr 2012 #35
d_r Apr 2012 #38
FarCenter Apr 2012 #16
SDjack Apr 2012 #20
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #26
Dogtown Apr 2012 #34
sarcasmo Apr 2012 #30
chrisa Apr 2012 #31
saras Apr 2012 #32
onenote Apr 2012 #37
grasswire Apr 2012 #47
onenote Apr 2012 #48
grasswire Apr 2012 #50
KinMd Apr 2012 #49
lovuian Apr 2012 #55

Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:27 PM

1. The free cup probably cost more than the soda was worth.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:27 PM

2. "The initial charge was for petty theft. But due to Abaire’s record of prior petty theft convictions

the charge was increased from a misdemeanor to a felony under Florida's 'three strikes' statute."

That's the key part of the story. Not the first time or state that something similar has happened in as
a result of 'three strike' laws.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:33 PM

4. Floriaduh is not the only state still in the

stone age...? I guess that's good to know. I wonder how many "petty" criminals are in prison under this law.
As long as we have prisons for profit, I guess we need to fill them up.

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Response to russspeakeasy (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:38 PM

5. The Wikipedia article lists the states and hightlights some infamous applications of the laws:

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:35 PM

17. They missed the dreaded Cheese Bandit of Yolo County

 

http://www.zimbio.com/Robert+Ferguson/articles/hhyAdRSd67k/Robert+Ferguson+Sentenced+7+Years+8+Months

On Monday, Yolo County Judge Thomas Warriner sentenced career criminal Robert Ferguson to seven years and eight months in prison for stealing a package of cheese, worth $3.99, from a Woodland Nugget Market, by putting the package in his trousers, according to the Sacramento Bee. The prosecutors had originally sought a life sentence for Ferguson under the state's "three strikes" law, but dropped their bid last month by stating a psychological report had convinced them such a sentence was unwarranted.

Okay, it was Tillamook cheese, but seven years?!

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Response to russspeakeasy (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:41 AM

33. Prison Labor.. the fastest growing segment of the labor market...

 

Entire prisons are being offered to employment agencies for use as call centers, assembly work and farming.

Prisoners are paid 10 cents an hour and work 10-15 hours a day.

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Response to lib2DaBone (Reply #33)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:45 PM

46. and the private prisons get a healthy kickback from uncle sam for each inmate housed

if the prison isn't filled past capacity, then the prison's "CEO" is losing money

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:04 PM

45. Pretty good example of what is wrong with "three strikes" laws.

Now the public gets to pay for keeping him in a prison if he is convicted. Really stupid.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:30 PM

3. Does he get free soda in jail?

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:39 PM

6. What a piece of shit

 

"The police report stated that when the manager asked him to pay, Abaire declined, cursed at him and refused to leave the premises, the Naples News reported."

You just got busted. Be an adult, admit it and try to rectify it. Telling the guy to fuck off and refusing to leave gives me little sympathy for the guy.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:59 PM

18. sounds like he wanted to get back inside the joint

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 01:52 PM

41. Your tax dollars will pay for his incarceration

$50K per year for however many years this guy is in prison, all because of a $1 soda?

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:41 PM

7. it's not like it was an accident

or a misunderstanding. The dude knew what he was doing, was asked to pay for it, and cursed them out for asking him to pay for it. He could have been cool and gotten out of that, but he had to be an asshole.

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Response to d_r (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:47 PM

8. Exactly. nt

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Response to d_r (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:58 PM

9. The initial charge was for petty theft. But due to Abaire’s record of prior petty theft convictions

 

Just a reminder.

He deserves it.


Now if we would just do this to big-wig crooks, like....oh...Bush & Cheney. Or Wall Street crooks.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:02 PM

12. but do the taxpayers deserve to pay $40,000 for that cup of soda?

That's the cost of locking the perp up for a year.

How about some common sense here?

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Response to grasswire (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:29 PM

15. Three strikes laws are meant to disenfranchise more Dem voters

That's really all there is to it.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:02 PM

21. LOL.

 

Good one, Sparky.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:22 PM

22. Must be my age?

Because I don't get the reference

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #22)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:50 PM

24. Do you have any evidence that multiple-felons are more likely to be Democratic voters?

 

Please provide your sources or I will consider you a liar.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:07 PM

27. This is not a multiple felony

Last edited Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:43 PM - Edit history (1)

This is a misdemeanor turned into a felony because it is the third offense. Do I need to tell you what happens in Florida to the voting rights of people who are convicted of felonies? Do I really also need to tell you what political party felon disenfranchisement laws hurt the most? Try Google searching Florida 2000 felon disenfranchisement for some education.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #27)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:14 PM

28. I'm not googling squat.

 

You made the claim that more Democratic voters are criminals, so let's see your proof.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:17 PM

29. Nice straw man

Try refuting what I actually said next time.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #29)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 12:49 PM

39. So, you don't have any evidence for your claim

 

that the three-strikes law "disenfranchise[s] more Dem voters?"

Help me out here, professor.

If you say a three strikes law disenfranchises more Democratic voters, how is that NOT saying more Democrats are criminals?

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Response to tabasco (Reply #39)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 01:27 PM

40. Well that's easy

For one, prosecutors have a lot of flexibility determining which crimes they want to prosecute, what charge they will attempt to prosecute, and what penalty they will request during sentencing phase if there is a conviction. They also can choose who they will work with for a possible plea bargain and who they will try to go for the maximum sentence. The quality of representation the defendant has can play a large part in this too. This has nothing to do with who is actually engaging in criminal activity (what you are saying is my claim) and who is able to get away with it, in addition to who is best able to avoid a wrongful conviction.

With that said, I have some questions for you:
1. Which political party is most heavily favored by minorities?
2. Do you believe minorities in this country are treated the same way whites are by our legal system as a whole?

Depending on your answers to those questions, you may or may not be able to follow the logic in answering these questions:

3. Are minorities more or less likely than whites to be affected by three strikes laws?
4. Would this have a higher chance of affecting votes for Democratic or Republican candidates?



And for evidence to support my claim, how about this?

http://www.dcvote.org/pdfs/papers/woatdcrights.pdf

The number of people disenfranchised as a result of criminal convictions has increased
dramatically in recent years as a result of the introduction of harsh sentencing policies such as
mandatory minimum sentences, "three strikes" laws and truth-in- sentencing
laws. Although crime rates have been relatively stable, these laws have increased the number of
offenders sent to prison and the length of time they serve. “In California, for example, more than
40,000 offenders have been sentenced under the state's "three strikes" law as of June 1998….
Seventy percent of sentenced three-strike offenders were either African American or Hispanic.”



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Response to shawn703 (Reply #40)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 01:55 PM

43. Slam. Dunk. Win. Very nice, sir. nt

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #40)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 08:25 PM

51. So, you 're speculating.

 

Provide some numbers on political affiliation of convicted criminals in Florida.

Or you're just blowing a lot of hot air.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #51)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 08:40 PM

52. What were your answers to my questions?

Apply some intellectual honesty here. I've cited evidence of how three strikes laws disproportionately affect minorities. Are you living in an alternate reality where minorities tend to vote Republican? If not, please show me how you came to the conclusion that three strikes laws are not more likely to disenfranchise Democrats than Republicans.

I'm not holding my breath.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #52)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:39 PM

53. So, you're speculating.

 

That's what I thought. I'll be standing by for those Florida numbers. There weren't any in the one link you provided.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #53)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:57 PM

54. Your numbers

From here:
http://felonvoting.procon.org/sourcefiles/uggen_manza_asr_02.pdf


Sorry this is copied from a table in a PDF (page 17 of the PDF, says page 793 in the top right corner.)


Unit
U.S. total
Florida felons and ex-felons 50-percent lower turnout
Florida ex-felons only 50-percent lower turnout
Actual Total Republican Disenfran Margin -chised
–539,947 4,695,729
537 827,207 — —
— 613,514 — —
Estimated Estimated Turnout Percent
Percent Democrat 29.7 68.9
27.2 68.9 13.6 68.9
27.2 68.9 13.6 68.9
Net Democratic Votes Lost
527,171
85,050 42,525
63,079 31,540
Counter- factual Democratic Margin
1,067,118
84,513 41,988
62,542 31,003
Sources: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. (2000); Current (2000).
Population Survey (2000); National Election Study



Those are your numbers, though I would highly recommend reading the whole document. It is very informative and explains why felon disenfranchisement is very much a political tool.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #54)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:59 PM

56. Yes, those are numbers. From two Minn. professors. That don't prove anything.

 

"To analyze the expected turnout and vote
choice of disenfranchised felons, we do not
have any survey data that asks disenfranchised
felons how they would have voted."

Good try, though.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #56)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:40 PM

57. Obviously you haven't read the whole document

Or you are not being intellectually honest and weighing the evidence presented which tells you how they reached their conclusions.

Either way, get back to me when you've done your own research on the topic and have reached an informed decision. Ignorance isn't good for anyone.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:42 PM

23. Or benefit for-profit prison companies.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:50 PM

25. If he deserves it, then much of DU deserves for illegal downloads. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #25)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 07:21 AM

36. much of DU would not confess to a crime in a post on the internets

WWTGSAT - What Would TaterGuy Say About This?

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:58 PM

10. Even if the guy is a jerk it's just a few cents worth of soda

The McDonald's manager is an ass-hole -- they're tying up the courts over this?

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:00 PM

11. so the taxpayers of FL are going to pay $40,000/year...

...to keep this guy in custody?

Florida is that flush with cash?

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Response to grasswire (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 01:53 PM

42. That's exactly what I thought!

That soda is going to end up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the end. Not only do we have to pay to incarcerate him, but the add-on effects of him not working a job, being a productive member of society, etc.

This was a fucking stupid move by the Florida cops on every level.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:00 PM

44. Nope. Because its all but certain he will serve little or no time

Under Florida's sentencing guidelines, this guy could commit this offense nearly a dozen separate times (and be charged with a felony each time) before he would be subject to a mandatory minimum term. Without a mandatory minimum sentence, even as a repeat offender, the most he might get is suspended sentence.

How would you propose to deal with repeat offenders that is different from the way Florida deals with them?

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:19 PM

13. This act is a felony? Give me a break!

Wrong? Yes, Felony, you've got to be kidding.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:28 PM

14. Observation: there are a lot of law-and-order republicans on this thread.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 05:07 PM

19. Ain't that the truth.



Of course. it's acceptable when one of the pillars of American Society is under attack.

.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 06:28 AM

35. Indeed!

Sad little fuckers.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 11:45 AM

38. Dude ain't a victim!

There were a thousand ways he could have gotten out of that but he pushed it and pushed it.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 04:30 PM

16. Look on the bright side -- the perp is a 52 year old white guy.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 05:10 PM

20. If only he could have helped Rmoney ruin and loot a company,

then he could buy his sodas for the rest of his life.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:03 PM

26. This guy has a history, I'm not sympathetic.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #26)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 06:26 AM

34. "I'm not sympathetic."

No, you're not.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:54 PM

30. Police State run amok.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:16 PM

31. lol Complete idiot

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:41 PM

32. Someone who willingly gets felony charges for a soda has mental issues bigger than crime...

 

... but America doesn't believe in their existence, let alone treatment, unless they fall into a category that it is profitable to medicate.

I think he should be given the choice between sane, respectful, person-centered psychiatric treatment and education, or a safe, healthy form of imprisonment. But America has neither, nor much interest in providing them. So I may as well offer flying monkeys and magic tiaras.

But the idea of someone "deserving" our current imprisonment system, from which nearly no one returns undamaged, for even three stolen soda pops is just sick. I hate to think what they'd do with a real thief - say a drunk kid that rips off a $1000 bike to ride home on and leaves it in a ditch a block from their house, the kind we see fairly regularly.

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 07:52 AM

37. Under Florida's sentencing guidelines there's virtually no chance this guy does much time if any

Last edited Thu Apr 26, 2012, 02:26 PM - Edit history (1)

There's a lot of heat in this thread, but not much light, so I'll try to provide some information that might put this matter in perspective.

First, as has been pointed out, this guy was charged with a felony for what would otherwise be a misdemeanor petty theft offense because he's a multiple repeat offender. Interestingly, as will be shown, this approach may well keep him out of jail (or at least get him a shorter sentence) than an approach that applies a mandatory misdemeanor sentence to multiple offenders.

Second, under Florida sentencing guidelines, felonies are broken into different classes. A repeat petty theft offender is charged with a third degree felony, the lowest level of felony. The maximum sentence for any third degree felony is five years. But there is a formula to determine the minimum sentence. The offense at hand, plus any prior felony offenses are "scored" and only when the score hits 44 points does a minimum sentence of one year kick in. This guy's multiple petty theft offense is scored at 4 points and as best I can tell, despite his rather long rap sheet, his total score based on prior felonies will be below 44 which means he still isn't subject to a mandatory sentence. The judge has discretion to let him go or fine him instead of sending him to prison. And in practice, where the point total is below 44, its pretty common for judges to impose a "community control" sentence (a form of house arrest) rather than send the accused to prison. At most he's likely to face 60 days, which is the maximum sentence for a second degree misdemeanor (but which doesn't apparently apply to repeat petty theft offenses).

Thus, for all of the noise on this thread, the Florida approach in this instance (but not necessarily in other instances, such as those involving violent crimes) is commendable in that it avoids imposing minimum sentences until someone has accumulated a substantial record of criminal activity and uses a formula under which the minimum sentence varies depending on the actual record of the offender.

I'm curious how others here would approach this situation. Should stealing a $1 soda not be a crime at all? How would that work? Should it always be a misdemeanor? Should someone who commits the same offense over and over be treated the same as a first time offender? If not, should the multiple offender be subject to a mandatory sentence? Again, under a mandatory misdemeanor sentence situation, this guy could be facing certain jail time. As it stands, he's going to have another felony charge on his record, but chances are the judge will have the discretion to let him go without any jail time or with very minimal jail time rather than be compelled to sentence him to a specified minimum sentence.

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Response to onenote (Reply #37)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 03:05 PM

47. any way this is handled, the cost is disproportionate to the crime

Court costs, cost of jailing the perp if he can't bail out, cost of supervision if he's under some sort of order or monitoring, cost of social services.....

No matter what is done to him, the cost is disproportionate to even a dozen petty crimes.

Money spent to adjudicate those petty crimes comes directly from the pot of money that could be used for schools, for parks, for services to elderly and families, for mental health care, for low-cost clinics.

Money spent to jail petty criminals makes money for corporations, without any deterrent effect.

Let's see.....schools, parks, social services? Or prison-industrial corporations? Where should the money go?

I believe in a concept called Restorative Justice, where victim and offender are both served in ways that divert every possible person from jail time. But that, too, takes money to administer.

No easy answers here.

The prison industrial complex has hyper-monetized the system.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #47)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 03:24 PM

48. As you acknowledge, any process is going to cost more than $1

So should there be a point at which its legal to steal? I doubt that would win a lot of support. So if you're going to have a system in which its against the law to steal things, even things of relatively nominal value, you're going to have to deal with enforcement and you're going to have to deal with whether or not a one-time offender should be treated the same as someone who commits the same sort of offense over and over.

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Response to onenote (Reply #48)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 05:52 PM

50. the question is larger

....and the answering of it requires the specificity of the desires of local voters.

I can't speak for Florida voters. Do they value order above all else? What are they willing to sacrifice to maintain scrupulous order?

Aside from that, there is a whole set of questions as to whether we as a society make it legal to steal when we don't demand the same enforcement for a billion dollar theft as we seek for a one dollar theft. That appears to be your point at which is it legal to steal (if failure to prosecute is tacit legality).

Those who have not sought prosecution of large-scale theft support legalization of stealing. Yes? No?


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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 05:20 PM

49. Im just saying

but it coud be this guy was being loud and refusing to leave the McD's, so they locked him up to get him off the premises. Im betting they drop the charges, or release him OR and hope he dissapears

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Response to shawn703 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:47 PM

55. where are the arrests for the BANKERS

It costs more than a dollar it incarcerate this guy

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