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Saturday, October 10, 2009

They're Always After Me Lucky Charms!

My manager e-mailed this article to me.

Man Gets 15 Years for Stealing Cereal
by UPI [11:33 am et 10/6/09]

A homeless alcoholic has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for stealing milk and a box of Lucky Charms, authorities in Lakeland, Fla. said. Mark Griffin's sentence was influenced by previous felony convictions for burglary and grand theft, prosecutors told The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger.

Griffin's most recent arrest came April 19 for stealing a $4.49 box of Lucky Charms cereal and a $1.59 can of milk from a Walgreens, police said. Griffin had been banned from the store previously.

A jury in August convicted Griffin of robbery and trespassing after he rejected a plea deal in which prosecutors offered him a sentence of three years in prison and two years probation, The Ledger reported.

Acknowledging Griffin was a chronic alcoholic, Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen said he was mandated by law to impose the 15-year prison sentence. "Personally, I think the money could have been better spent in treatment than incarceration for 15 years, but that is not my decision," Jacobsen said.

I find it tragic that someone lets addiction take them to the point of theft and homelessness. On the bright side he gets free food, a place to sleep, a toilet, bathing privileges, free cable, and workout time paid for by John and Jane Q. Taxpayer. Life is sweet! (and yes Lucky Charms are delicious!)


Mal said...

Imagine if they had spent a fraction of the cost of 15 years incarceration on substance abuse treatment, job training, housing and support for this man. They could even have paid for his cereal.

The US is the richest country on earth, and they're sending someone to jail for 15 years for stealing food. Shades of Les Miserables.

Anonymous said...

I just feel this story is tragic all the way around. Especially when comparing that other people that kill other people get no jail time at all. This guy's messing up his life big time, gets busted, and loses 15 years of life--in a prison, no less. Places where it's the law of the jungle. Sure, he gets a 'chance to redeem his value to society' but prison is not a rehab center, and prisoners play by the law of the jungle while incarcerated. One has the impression that he wasn't really worried about 3 square to begin with as a 'benefit' of prison life. This modern times is looking more and more like Charles Dickens' all the time. A quote from NPR this morning with regards to paradise, 'heaven on earth like a living hell.'

Matt said...

Chronic alocholism is hard to treat. For one thing, the patient must want to be treated, and want to recover.

The cost of prison will be high. Certainly higher than the value of the many petty thefts that will be prevented over the next 15 years. Probably higher than the cost of hospital services, as he cycles in and out with illnesses caused by his drinking, but possibly not. The value to society of not having to deal with this thieving drunk on a daily basis: Priceless.

chuckr44 said...

Blame the congressmen who made these laws, and the people who voted for them.

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

We need to look at our justice system and revamp the whole thing. There are better things to do with prisoners than stick them in cells for many years. We should be doing substance abuse rehab, anger management, job skills training, and personal financial management. All of these things can help a person that wants to be helped. If they don't want to be helped then we should be able to execute them. It would be far more cost effective than the system we have now!

was1 said...

ok, let's all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. that will make the world a better place. nobody will have to work and everything will be FREE! now let's pray for world peace and thank God for Karl Marx and his brothers Groucho and Harpo.

Heriberto said...

Lucky Charms are, in fact, "Magically delicious"

ThoughtsOFARandomCollegeStudent said...

sad thing is ,

prison is probably the best thing that could happen to him. No business wants to or can afford to hire former prisoners.

sure there is a huge loss of freedom and the horrible stigma attached, but when no one wants to hire you, rent housing to you and it ends up fu***** with your credit score, what the heck can you do?

Im not saying its a free pass, because taxes pay for it. Its just, sad all around.