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April 28, 2001 1:15 PM   Subscribe

200 years to life for fraud? Crime should be punished, but this seems somewhat harsh when there's murderers, rapists, etc. on the loose
posted by owillis (19 comments total)

 
You know the guy has a great lawyer when the attorney notes that 200 years in jail is tantamount to a death sentence. I wish I had gone to law school so I too could make such incisive observations. Two hundred years is cruel and unusual and for me way out of line for what is done on a fairly routine basis. In fact, I am in the midst of clearing out the mess made cause someone got hold of my credit card...that bastard should only get 110 years; not life.
posted by Postroad at 2:19 PM on April 28, 2001


I get that this is part of a "3 K's you're out!" policy, but credit card fraud? 200 years?!? That's simply too many Cure songs...I think any number in excess of a reasonable human being's lifespan is always ridiculous. Is California hoping that this will intimidate would-be ID-thieves? What good is being done by locking this guy up (who is 30) for the rest of his life? I've been victimized in the past by someone getting hold of my calling card -- I certainly wouldn't expect the perp to serve more than 6 mos and frankly, I don't really care. Credit card companies, telco's should do a better job preventing this...
posted by kphaley454 at 2:33 PM on April 28, 2001


While the judge is obviously a golfer in this case, I wouldn't make the blanket statement that white-collar crime doesn't deserve severe punishment in some cases.

In one case that came up where I work (can't discuss the details, sorry), the perpetrator defrauded hundreds of victims all over the country, leaving some of them hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. One victim killed herself. Does this guy deserve 200 years? You bet. But he won't get it.

In financial cases, the judge weighs punishment with the possibility of restitution. Some of these guys are extremely wealthy, and will be able to pay back the victims if they are kept out of jail. So the amount of jail time you do often depends on your ability to refund the victims of your crime.

This loser just didn't have the ability to pay, and he picked the WRONG victim. Maybe he deserves 200 years for being stupid.
posted by frykitty at 2:47 PM on April 28, 2001


Perhaps the biggest problem of our legal system is that extraordinarily high sentences apply to small crimes and most people who dare to defend themselves risk alot. They might as well settle out of court. That especially holds true if you are poor and can't afford to launch a decent defense.

We have one fucked up system.
posted by Witold at 2:49 PM on April 28, 2001


This ruling seems stupid until you note that it's part of the three strikes rule. And.. most people believe that the three strikes rule is a good one depending on the crime.

It's not as if this guy had downloaded some mp3s, looked at illegal porn or smoked some dope. He was stealing from others. It was fraud, it was theft.

And, it's not his first offence. Do you really think that someone with 20 past offences is going to suddenly stop because his 'three strikes' are nearly up? It hasn't here.

Stealing is wrong, and I don't have any sympathy for someone who has stolen physical property or cash, and then expects to get a slap on the wrist for it.

That said, jail isn't always the answer, and it costs taxpayers a lot of $$$. Perhaps he could just get the treatment that the guy in A Clockwork Orange did?
posted by wackybrit at 3:02 PM on April 28, 2001


Perhaps he could just get the treatment that the guy in A Clockwork Orange did?
Why, that's the best idea I've heard all day. (And I just woke up.)
posted by gleemax at 3:07 PM on April 28, 2001


most people believe that the three strikes rule is a good one depending on the crime

I don't know if "most people" believe this. Why do you think so?
posted by rodii at 3:24 PM on April 28, 2001


I don't have any sympathy for someone who has stolen physical property or cash, and then expects to get a slap on the wrist for it.

his lawyer was looking for 19 years in jail. is that a slap on the wrist?
posted by jpoulos at 3:31 PM on April 28, 2001


Because politicians who approve of it keep getting re-elected... I'm for it in cases of violent crime.
posted by owillis at 3:48 PM on April 28, 2001


Correct me if my math is wrong here. If stealing $17,000 gets you 200 years in jail then stealing 85 dollars gets you a year in jail [mathematically]. Does that sound fair to you?
posted by GrooveJedi at 4:20 PM on April 28, 2001


Correct me if my math is wrong here. If stealing $17,000 gets you 200 years in jail then stealing 85 dollars gets you a year in jail [mathematically]. Does that sound fair to you?
posted by GrooveJedi at 4:23 PM on April 28, 2001


One victim killed herself. Does this guy deserve 200 years? You bet.

frykitty, should Anthony Taylor be responsible for his victims' deaths, or just for his thieving? if his victims are overreactive, should he be liable?

Maybe he deserves 200 years for being stupid.

yeah, being convicted of "20 misdemeanor or felony crimes over 17 years" should have stopped him earlier.
posted by register at 4:23 PM on April 28, 2001


Sorry about the double post, that was an accident. But by the same token, if you steal 5 bucks you go to jail for almost a month? hehehehe.
posted by GrooveJedi at 4:25 PM on April 28, 2001


Not to mention he stole $17,000 from somebody who could afford it by raiding the medicine cabinet stash bottle and that's the bathroom off his third house's basement rec-room. Maybe had he stolen $17,000 from a single mother who needed to pay for chemotherapy for her dying child, but couldn't and the poor kid died I'd agree to 19 years.

That judge needs to check the toilet after he's done, 'cause he must think he's shittin' gold or some such.

One day let's hope legal inhumanity can be punishable by sentences like this.
posted by crasspastor at 4:31 PM on April 28, 2001


groovejedi, that's a little more than an hour of prison for every penny stolen.
posted by register at 4:42 PM on April 28, 2001


We had a case out here (CA) where a guy got essentially a life sentence under the same law for stealing some milk and groceries. But his previous crimes had included setting fire to a tent full of sleeping campers.

Long prison sentences are very cruel and we should really think it over before putting anybody in a cage. But I believe that 20% of the criminals are responsible for 80% of the worst problems. Locking this guy up once is probably going save us the time and trouble of doing it over and over not to mention the damage he does while he's out.

Seventeen chances is a lot.
posted by steve_high at 10:13 AM on April 29, 2001


Not to mention he stole $17,000 from somebody who could afford it…

Being wealthy does not make someone any more worthy of being robbed. Stealing from anyone — wealthy or not — is morally and socially reprehensible, and due to this criminal's long record of criminal activity, there is absolutely no reason to believe that setting him free will benefit society in any way.

A sentence of 200 years virtually guarantees that the guy will never be sent out on the streets to commit dozens of other crimes.
posted by Danelope at 1:32 PM on April 29, 2001


jpoulos + groovejedi: We're talking about a three strike rule here. Of course 200 years is absolutely dumb for a single case of robbery. But this is a three strike rule. Criminals know it exists and if they choose to break it, they face the consequences.

If the police said.. 'if you get convicted more than twice, you will get life imprisonment', then if I got convicted twice, then I'd SURE AS HELL never do anything slightly illegal again if I didn't want the jail sentence. It's not the court's fault that this guy was dumb.

And, Register said:
- should Anthony Taylor be responsible
- for his victims' deaths, or just for his
- thieving?

Unsure about American law, but European/British law says that 'Yes, the criminal is reponsible.' Infact, if you attack a person and they die within a full twelve months.. you can be hauled BACK to court to face a murder charge.

I believe there was a recent case where a woman was attacked, the guy got a jail sentence for rape, she committed suicide, and he got hauled back and was put away for life for murder. That might be unfair (she could have committed suicide for any number of reasons), but it happens.
posted by wackybrit at 7:24 PM on April 29, 2001


Because politicians who approve of it keep getting re-elected... I'm for it in cases of violent crime.

The problem with these three strikes laws is that they lock up a lot of non-violent offenders with sentences that are highly disproportionate to their crimes, forcing the prison systems to release violent offenders who might otherwise be kept longer.

When prison overcrowding is a given, three strikes puts more violent criminals back on the streets.
posted by rcade at 8:54 PM on April 29, 2001


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