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Armed Robber never told to report to Prison for 13yrs

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by DFWRocket, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    Short story - He was convicted of robbing a McDonalds with a BB gun in 2000. Told to await further instructions after sentencing and the instructions to report to prison never came. He learned a trade, started 3 businesses, began raising a family and even got a couple traffic tickets that he took care of. 13yrs later the SWAT team showed up to arrest him.


    If you look at the goal of Prisons as being to rehabilitate, then Personally I'm hoping the Governor commutes his sentence.

    However I'm sure some will say that the purpose of prisons is to punish and will want to see him behind bars.


    http://news.yahoo.com/armed-robber-never-told-report-prison-195146743.html


    ST. LOUIS (AP) — After he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison. But those instructions never came.

    So Anderson didn't report. He spent the next 13 years turning his life around — getting married, raising three kids, learning a trade. He made no effort to conceal his identity or whereabouts. Anderson paid taxes and traffic tickets, renewed his driver's license and registered his businesses.

    Not until last year did the Missouri Department of Corrections discover the clerical error that kept him free. Now he's fighting for release, saying authorities missed their chance to incarcerate him.

    In a single day last July, Anderson's life was turned upside-down.

    "They sent a SWAT team to his house," Anderson's attorney, Patrick Megaro, said Wednesday. "He was getting his 3-year-old daughter breakfast, and these men with automatic weapons bang on his door."

    Anderson, 37, was taken to Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Mo., to begin serving the sentence. A court appeal filed in February asks for him to be freed.

    Anderson had just one arrest for marijuana possession on his record when he and a cousin robbed an assistant manager for a St. Charles Burger King restaurant on Aug. 15, 1999. The men, wearing masks, showed a gun (it turned out to be a BB gun) and demanded money that was about to be placed in a deposit box.

    The worker gave up the bag of cash, and the masked men drove away. The worker turned in the car's license plate number.

    Anderson was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison and waited for word on what to do next.

    View galleryThis undated photo provided by the Missouri Department …
    This undated photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Cornealious Anderson. An …
    "His attorney said, 'Listen, they're going to get you some day, so just wait for the order,'" Megaro said. "As time goes by, the order never comes. What does a normal person believe? Maybe they forgot about it. It's only human nature to hope they just let it go. He really didn't know what to do.

    "A year goes by, two years, five years, 10 years. He's thinking, 'I guess they don't care about me anymore,'" Megaro said.

    So Anderson went about his life. Megaro said he was not a fugitive, was never on the run. In fact, just the opposite.

    Megaro described Anderson as a model citizen — a married father who became a carpenter and started three businesses. He paid income and property taxes and kept a driver's license showing his true name and address. When he was pulled over for a couple of traffic violations, nothing showed up indicating he should be in prison.

    That's why Anderson was shocked when the marshals arrived.

    He now lives among the general population at Charleston. Megaro said Anderson is holding his own— barely.

    "He's doing his best to keep his spirits up," Megaro said. "Each day that goes by, more hope is lost. It's a daily struggle for him."

    Peter Joy, director of the Criminal Justice Clinic at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, said it isn't unusual in a country with such a high prison population for sentences to fall through the cracks. What is unusual, Joy said, is for it to go unnoticed for so long.

    "The real tragedy here is that one aspect of prison is the idea of rehabilitation," Joy said. "Here we have somebody who has led a perfect life for 13 years. He did everything right. So he doesn't need rehabilitation."

    What happens next isn't clear. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Tuesday filed a court response that said the state is justified in making Anderson serve the sentence.

    However, Koster wrote that Megaro could refile the case as an action against the director of the Department of Corrections, which could give Anderson credit for the time he was technically at large.

    Megaro doubted that strategy would work. He said the law does not allow credit for time served when the convicted person was not behind bars.

    "I don't think that's an option, unfortunately," Megaro said.

    Instead, he's relying on case law. The last time anything like this happened in Missouri was 1912. In that case, the convicted man was set free, Megaro said.

    Gov. Jay Nixon could also commute the sentence. A spokesman for Nixon declined to comment.
     
  2. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    Why are you trying to mislead us? Article clearly says Burger King, which really changes everything.
     
  3. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Tricky subject. I do believe he should spend some time in jail. Chickens came home to roost and I'm sure he knew it would happen eventually. I say he should spend 13 months in jail in stead of 13 years and maybe get probation in 6 months.
     
  4. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    I was thinking a few years probation. His lawyer was the one that told him to just sit tight until they come get him, but after all this time and his own change in lifestyle, what does putting him in prison accomplish? More harm to him and others and like the article pointed out - costs more money & the Gov loses tax revenue.
     
  5. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Prison has a dual purpose. It is not merely to rehabilitate.

    There are consequences for actions and robbing someone with a gun (even if it turned out to be a BB gun) has consequences as well. However, there mitigating circumstances here obviously and I'm sensitive to the fact that he now has young children and a family that relies on him.

    It looks like's he's spent nearly a year in prison now since the SWAT team showed up?

    I would release him in July after serving on year in prison and then give him the remainder of his sentence as probation. 12 years. He is being given a chance that most young men who commit these stupid crimes don't get. A chance to lead a normal life. As long as he doesn't screw up in the next 12 years (which on the limited data it sounds like he won't) he's going to be fine.

    12 years probation and some community service and call it a day.
     
  6. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    He did the crime and it has to have consequences. At least some time in jail. I don't believe it's fair for big Businesses using tax loopholes and I don't believe in people not facing justice for something they did. 6 months in jail is justice served for a crime he committed.
     
  7. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    I'd say let him stay free.

    If it was murder though, different story.
     
  8. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

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    Give him some community service and call it good.
     
  9. dumbartonbass

    dumbartonbass Contributing Member
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    This American Life had a great episode where they interviewed the man himself, his family, lawyers and law enforcement regarding this. It reaches a level of nuance and detail that a short Yahoo story cannot.
     
  10. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    I'm good with that
     
  11. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    lol at the feel good story

    you can't just skip serving your time because of a clerical error.

    time to pay your debt to society for armed robbery
     
  12. txtony

    txtony Member

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    Is he a harm to society now? Set him free. Your tax money got other things to worry about.
     
  13. BleedRocketsRed

    BleedRocketsRed Contributing Member

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    ARMED ROBBERY WITH A BB GUN?????

    LMAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
     
  14. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Probably the only thing we both agree on. Do you think Corporations have a right exploit loopholes as well?
     
  15. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    yet if he was rich and white he never would have gotten 13 years, might not have spent any time in jail.
     
  16. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Does a rich man even rob a McDonald's?
     
  17. txtony

    txtony Member

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    He was what, 23? 24? Still a kid.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    This works both ways:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/obama-commutes-sentence-made-longer-typo-23332506

    The courts made a typo in this case, and a guy was going to be forced to spend an extra 3.5 years in prison because of it until Obama intervened - it's silly that there's no other procedure in place to address this. As a general rule, the government should be expected to get things right. And when they don't, the individual shouldn't be forced to suffer the consequences - the system should always be designed to favor the citizen over the government in the case of a government error.

    That doesn't mean no jail time, but there should be some kind of reduction in penalty - you can't hold an entire life hostage by randomly deciding when to put someone in jail. I'm sure the first few years of his life post-conviction were sort of wasted not really building towards anything given that he thought he'd be sent to jail any day.
     
  19. AroundTheWorld

    Supporting Member

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    There's a statute of limitations on most crimes. Isn't there one on enforcement of sentences?
     
  20. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    That's not really the point now is it?
     

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