25 years for stealing a VCR?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by acludem, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    This court got this one absolutely right. I mean, come one, for 25 years he should've at least had to steal a DVD player.

    acludem


    Judges: 25 years for VCR theft is too much
    Court calls ‘three-strikes’ sentence ‘cruel and unusual’
    Updated: 4:31 p.m. ET April 19, 2004SAN FRANCISCO - A California man sentenced to at least 25 years in prison without parole after he stole a $199 video recorder was unfairly subject to cruel and unusual punishment, a U.S. appeals court ruled Monday.


    Isaac Ramirez was convicted of stealing a VCR from Sears in 1996, a crime that usually brings up to six months in prison. San Bernardino County prosecutors argued that his two prior shoplifting offenses in 1991 counted as “strikes” under California’s 1994 Three Strikes law that imposes harsher sentence for repeat criminals.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the original trial court and a subsequent appeals court violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban against cruel and unusual punishment.

    “The sentence imposed upon Ramirez for his three shoplifting offenses is more severe than the sentence he would have faced had any one of his three crimes been murder, manslaughter or rape,” Judge Kim Wardlaw wrote.

    “We hold that this is an ‘exceedingly rare’ case in which the sentence imposed is grossly disproportionate to the crimes committed, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.”

    In affirming the judgment of a district court — over California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s objection — the court said that Ramirez can remain free. He was released from prison in 2002 under parole supervision after serving nearly six years.

    Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4781113/
     
  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Mandatory sentencing guidelines and "three strike rules" sound all well and good, but they play hell with judicial discretion. Of course, the way our judiciary is going, that might not be all bad. Seems like we've got to strike a balance somewhere.
     
  3. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    This was an abuse by prosecutors and the original judge in this case of a law that was never meant for cases like this. This guy has a history of petty theft. He's a kleptomaniac, not a violent criminal.

    acludem
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    It's not the punishment in this case, it's a public safety issue. I'm sure you'd be real political when this guy broke into your house to steal your TV. If the guy can't learn to stop stealing, he needs to be locked up for good in order to keep him from stealing again.

    As for minimum sentencing guidlines, go to "The New York Times" and look up Jorge Pabon-Cruz, then tell me sentencing guidlines are bad. It's to protect the public from chronic criminals and stupid judges.
     
  5. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Those are good points. That's why I'm kind of ambivalent toward this whole thing. A judge should be able to exercise some discretion, but what if he's a completely amoral, America- hating asshole, as is becoming the case more and more often?
     
  6. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    The three strikes rule is designed for people with an overall shitty and criminal pattern of behavior. Of course it seems too stiff if you look at the three strikes punishment in the context of only one of the offenses. THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT. He should do the 25. He's scum.
     
  7. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    four words this guy should have lived by - STOP BREAKING THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    Why three strikes and your out?

    The first strike: Ok. it's his first offense. We all make mistakes.

    The second strike: OK. There are extenuating circumstances. He's on crack and his baby needs new shoes.

    Third Strike: Ok. This guy really is just a total piece of trash.
     
  9. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Have you been watching "Liar Liar" again? :D
     
  10. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    love that movie ;)
     

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