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Let him go or lock him up?


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Poll: Let him go or lock him up? (3 member(s) have cast votes)

Should they let him go or should they lock him up?

  1. Let him go. (2 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. Lock him up. (1 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#1 Elderban

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:28 PM

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. He is 9 months into that 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.

His attorney told him, "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.

 

Source: http://nypost.com/20...e-for-13-years/

 

Personally, I think they should let him go. It's not his fault that they never did anything. He did what he was told to do. And it seems that he has changed his life around for the better anyway. I mean, that's supposedly the whole concept behind being in prison, no?


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#2 Hamp

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:48 PM

I read this article this morning. I am conflicted yet I do lean to the Let him Go side.

 

Ignorance is no excuse, just because he 'waited' for 13 years does not absolve him from the punishment handed down for his crime. If you do not pay a debt you know you owe even if they do not send you a "bill" you are still liable for payment.

 

However, he did something that no jail would have done, he straightened up and flew right. He did everything according to the book and kept his nose clean.

 

So If I am the judge here is my sentence.

 

Mr. Cornealious Anderson, you have been found guilty of a crime for which you have yet to pay the people of Missouri. However in light of your conduct for the past 13 years and the manner in which you have been conducting your life I amend your sentence as follows. 13 years in the Missouri state penitentiary, suspended following the successful completion of 5 years probation and 100 hours of community service for each of the 13 years you were originally sentenced too. That community service is to be carried out in the Missouri state penitentiary and other state run institutions telling the inmates what you have been doing with yourself these past 13 years in hopes you will inspire those who are in the system to follow your lead on their completion of their sentence.


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“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
― Emerson

 

"Everyone is entitled to my opinion."

- L. Naumann


#3 Elderban

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:16 PM

Here's an update on this story:

http://www.usnews.co...3-year-sentence


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#4 Hamp

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 05:27 PM

I tend to agree, they need to drop the whole thing and move on.


  • Brantblen likes this

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
― Emerson

 

"Everyone is entitled to my opinion."

- L. Naumann


#5 Anglacon

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:23 PM

So, if he mugged someone and was never caught until 13 years later, does that make it all ok?

What about assault?

Murder?

Rape?

 

At what length of time do you no longer have to pay for your actions?

 

Hmmmm.

 

Personally, I feel this guy is the oddity, in which a criminal changed his life for the better. 98% of others that did the same crime would have re-offended.


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#6 Hamp

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 03:29 PM

I agree that he is the oddity, the one in a million that actually changes his or her life for the better. All the more reason to temper his sentence with kindness, to encourage more of this type of action. Read my post on what I would sentence him with.


  • Brantblen likes this

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
― Emerson

 

"Everyone is entitled to my opinion."

- L. Naumann


#7 Elderban

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 05:05 PM

So, if he mugged someone and was never caught until 13 years later, does that make it all ok?

What about assault?

Murder?

Rape?

 

At what length of time do you no longer have to pay for your actions?

 

Hmmmm.

 

Personally, I feel this guy is the oddity, in which a criminal changed his life for the better. 98% of others that did the same crime would have re-offended.

 

Most of those, including rape, come with a statute of limitations, but they vary from state to state. Murder is about the only one that doesn't.






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