Thursday, April 17, 2014

What An Odd Story...

Just... Wow.

Armed robber was never told to report to prison
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.
Naturally, his past caught up to him - thirteen years later. And, just as naturally, the system went batshit overboard and sent a SWAT team with machine guns to bring him in. This one guy, probably the one in a million outlier, completely turned his life around after that conviction. He started his own business, settled down, had a family, and then the SWAT team kicks in his door.

All because he followed the judge's orders.

It's really hard to sort this one out. On the one hand, dude committed armed robbery. That's pretty serious. He probably should serve his sentence. On the other hand, though, it was totally a court screw-up. Dude made no attempt whatsoever to run, hide, or otherwise evade the authorities. He kept his license, went about his business, and it was someone else's screw up that kept him out of jail. Naturally, when they realized that the man that they forgot to send to prison was still out - at an address that was publicly known - they decided the reasonable solution was to send in the SWAT team.

Yeah, that makes sense, on some planet I've never heard of.

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


AndyN said...

There are only three reasons I know of for locking up convicted criminals: to protect the public from further crimes, to rehabilitate the criminal, and to satisfy our desire for vengeance. If all the facts are as presented in the article, there's apparently no need for the first and he's already done the second. If the AG's only reason for pursuing this is vengeance, the people of Missouri ought to take a good hard look at what kind of people they're employing.

Anonymous said...

He turned out a better citizen than he would if he had gone to prison.

Let him be.


Anonymous said...

Resentence him to 13 years probation starting now. If he stays clean for another 13 years, he is done with the system. He will have incentive to stay straight, and the state can hammer him if he does not.

OR pardon him Governor Nixon.

Armed Texan said...

It was proper of them to bring him before the court, but the method of doing so was unjustified. A few days of investigation would have made it clear to the police whether they needed to bring out the heavy gear or they could just pick him up at the office when he arrived for work.

It would also be appropriate for the court to suspend his sentence or rule it completed given the circumstances.

Matthew said...

This is why we give the executive the power to commute sentences. For the one offs like this.

RabidAlien said...

I'm a big fan of "do the crime, do the time", but yeah, there are exceptions to every rule. Dude didn't run, didn't hide, didn't change his name or anything. Stayed in town, married, had kids, started a business, paid taxes, kept his drivers' license (dunno about anywhere else, but in Texas you have to renew every 6 years and physically go in and update your photo every 12). They knew where he was. He wasn't hiding. He's about as rehabbed as one can get. Give him probation for the next 12 months, have his probie drop by for steaks and some football on the 4th and Thanksgiving, and let the man live his life.

Geodkyt said...

Funny thing is, if he had spent the time as a fugitive without getting arrested in teh first place, I believe the statute of limitations would have meant they wouldn;t be able to try him now.

But because he did what he was told to do, the state wants to get all huffy, now?!?

Either credit him with the time, put him on loose probation (he's pretty obviously not a safety or flight risk, after all), or commute his sentance entirely. (I don't think a pardon is necessarily the right avenue to address handling this state screwup. But, I'd say, if his state traditionally offers pardons to released prisoners who have turned into law abiding citizens for a period of time, he's certainly established that criteria. . . )