Monday, October 8, 2007

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

I don't love posting these "legal" type articles all the time, but I actually found this one interesting - I mean a potential 30 years for stealing a donut?

A Park Hills man could potentially pay a hefty price to satisfy his sweet tooth. Scott A. Masters, 41, has been charged with felony second-degree robbery after employees at a Country Mart in this town 70 miles south of St. Louis said he slipped a 52-cent doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying last December, then pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store.

The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. Given Masters' criminal past, prosecutors could boost that sentence to 30 years to life.

"Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That's impossible," Masters told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from jail. He admitted that he took the pastry but denying touching the female employee. "I've never had a violent crime in my life. And there's no way I would've pushed a woman over a doughnut."

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said state law treats the shoplifting and assault as forcibly stealing property. The amount of force and value of the property doesn't matter.

"For Masters' part, he didn't even get to enjoy his ill-gotten gains. He said he threw the doughnut away as he fled."

1 comment:

Beth the Blogger said...

Oh brother.