Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stupid Criminal and Serious Sentencing Thoughts

15 to life in state prison for stealing a chainsaw and a stereo.
I'm not going to delve into the legal theories of criminal justice (rehabiliative, retributive, etc), although that's sort of what's on my mind after reading an article (snippets below) in today's Watertown paper. Well, that and shock at what an idiot this defendant apparently is...

I'd prefer someone who continually commits crimes be locked up, for life if necessary, than wandering the streets. Dipping back into the theories on how and why our system is supposed to work, though, it just seems a waste of taxpayer dollars to keep people locked up for decades only to lock them up for decades again. Maybe, semi-seriously and in the interest of discussion, there's something to the idea of penal colonies. Maybe enforced conscription into some sort of military service. While such brainstorming runs into the 8th Amendment, it might be time to think outside the box when it comes to persistent offenders.

Mr. Gilbo was in court for sentencing on one felony count of second-degree burglary and two misdemeanor counts of petit larceny. He was found guilty after a jury trial in February of stealing a stereo from the Joseph P. White home, Russell, and a chain saw belonging to Russell Sprague, Canton, on May 13, 2005. Sentencing was postponed twice to allow for Tuesday's hearing.

At trial, Mr. Gilbo boasted that he could rob any house in Canton, or even rob the police station, and the police could not do anything about it. Judge Rogers quoted his words before sentencing, saying Ms. Duvé had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he should be sentenced as a persistent felon.

In addition to the 15 years-to-life sentence, Judge Rogers ordered Mr. Gilbo to pay a $270 court fee and $1,000 restitution.


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