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58¢ theft cost taxpayers thousands

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    58¢ theft could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    It was not the crime of the century when a man allegedly stole 58 cents from a car in rural New Jersey, but his trial and incarceration could end up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Over protests from a taxpayers' advocacy group and civil libertarians, prosecutors are pressing for a prison sentence of between five and 10 years for a drifter accused of stealing the money in Greenwich, New Jersey, in 1999. In drifter Michael Monroe's defense, his attorney said he slid his hand through a slightly open window of the car to give more air to a Rottweiler dog that had been left inside by its owner. It had already cost taxpayers $16'000 to keep Monroe in prison before his trial starts on 26 March 2001 in Warren County Superior Court, local officials said.

    "That's a waste of taxpayers' money for a crime that wasn't life-threatening," said Sam Perelli, state chairman of United Taxpayers of New Jersey. "For 58 cents it seems kind of crazy to prosecute him and use this kind of massive expenditure to incarcerate this man."
    If he receives the maximum prison sentence, local officials said the tab for his confinement would be about $270,000. "Ten years is a long time to put a man in prison for a burglary that only got him 58 cents," said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Prosecutors alleged Monroe, 50, stole the money on 6 June 1999, by sliding his hand through a slightly open window of the car while it was parked in a supermarket lot. Car owner David Laman said he left the window open to let in air for his dog. When Laman returned to the lot, he said he saw Monroe in the front seat. Monroe then got out and drove away in his own car.

    After a three day trial, he was acquitted of burglary and trespass, but found guilty of theft. As he had already spent 95 days in prison, he was set free with time served.
  2. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yet dirty politicians that steal millions get no time in jail? Great system we have!
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    yup sure is
  4. TLynn

    TLynn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It's amazing what some people will do to justify having a job...

    What a waste of taxpayers money and what a waste of time and energy spent for less than a $1 taken.

    Yet our elected officials steal more than that from us each and every day and call it the price of doing business...

  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I can see both sides of the argument on this one. Yeah it sucks to spend so much on the trial and jailing of criminals but at the same time if you base the decision to try them or not based on the value of what they steal compared to the cost of trying them then where do you set the bar? I mean even based on the info in the above article they would have to steal well over 1/4 million dollars of property for it to balance on that basis. I know at least to me I want anyone who steals from me to pay dearly for it (assumeing they dont wind up feeding some local hogs) regardless if they steal a $5 casset from me or if they steal my most high priced possesions simply for the fact that they stole from me.

    I think the anwser, rather than letting people slide if the amount stolen is 'insignificant', would be to simply lower the cost of their confinement. Eliminate the cable and for that mater the TV all together, eleminate all things not escential to sustaining life and let it be a less plesant stay then put them back on chain gangs that could be hired out to do a lot of the jobs we pay for through our taxes like a lot of the road work and so on so that they have to work to make money to pay for their own confinement. In return for working maybe they get a few things like normal food rather than bread and water, some TV time (without cable) or acess to some of the recreational equiptment they have and if they dont work they are in the cell or an open rec yard at all times and get bread and water fair with no privlages at all.

    That would dramaticly reduce the cost of their confinement as well as makeing it less appealing to them to risk going back. I have encountered far to many cons who would openly admit they were just out 'on vacation' and fully intended to go back.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Yup. [bow]
  7. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Blaspheme, I can't believe you would say that :D [gone]
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