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Did you hear the one about the hobo and the frat boy?

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2007 09:46 pm
Setanta wrote:
I'm really surprised that you ask such a question--because such characters as frat boys like him might think the possible thrill of taking pot shots at "hobos" would be worth the price of some probation and community service, especially given that most people who commit criminal activities usually do so in the belief that they won't themselves be caught. However, that misplaced confidence might weigh less with those who consider that if they are caught, they might do five years of hard time.

I know nothing of the character of the defendant in this case, apart from the facts presented in the news stories. That you have been able to form such a precise estimation of his character, based on nothing more than that, is certainly a testament to your immense powers of perception.

Setanta wrote:
Because of the nature of his crime, and especially because of his callous attitude, inferred from his behavior after the incident. Besides, you are playing a rhetorical game here, ignoring that my call for his sentence to be severe is predicated upon a conviction on my part that he suffer as much as anyone else convicted of an offense under the same relevant statutes, who didn't grow up in a "sheltered environment," and whose circumstances did not afford him the opportunity to trot out a string of middle class character witnesses. Frankly, i get a picture of an arrogant and overbearing frat boy, and that as much as anything else makes a severe punishment seem attractive to me.

Again, it appears you know far more about the defendant than I do. I can only say that the sentencing guidelines are the same for everyone in Grimes's situation. I have no idea how other first-time offenders charged under the same statute are sentenced, but then that probably puts me in the same position as you. The only difference between us is that I won't speculate about or base conclusions on how other people are punished by the Oregon courts. You, on the other hand, will.

Setanta wrote:
Of course, were you willing to suggest that no other person convicted of offenses against the same statutes ought to be severely punished, then i'd admit the equity of not severely punishing this boy.

I won't make that suggestion because I can't. The Oregon legislature has seen fit to give judges some discretion in sentencing first-time offenders, like Grimes. The legislature, no doubt, believed that it was worthwhile to take the special circumstances of each case into consideration when dealing with this class of offenders. That the judge did so in this case merely reflects the will of the people of Oregon as expressed through their elected representatives.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2007 09:53 pm
JPB wrote:
Subsequent news reports indicate that "hunting for sport" is precisely what he was doing as well as aiding others in the endeavor by providing them ammo. I'll concede stupid, but I'm staying with vicious. Stupid, coupled with vicious does not pull on my leniency strings.

Had Grimes been quoted as saying that he was aiming at the victim and that he was disappointed that he didn't kill him, I might be inclined to agree with you. Instead, the only thing we know from the news stories is that the defendant said that he wasn't aiming at the victim, that the prosecutors opted to accept a plea bargain for a reduced charge, and that a number of witnesses testified as to the defendant's good character. From that limited information, it sounds more like a tragic error than a vicious disposition. But I might be wrong. Defendants have been known to lie, prosecutors have been known to compromise good cases for bad reasons, character witnesses have been known to embellish the truth. I have no clue whether any of that happened in this case. And, I'll add, neither do you.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2007 10:17 pm
If jail and prisons were well run places with no side stuff going on, I'd see - and probably still do demand - a completely classless structure.

As it is, I think prisons are our shame, an entire shame. And victims abound past the punishment - retribution or not - of their sentences.

Money is poured at enforcement of structure against a dehumanized populace.

We are the new barbarians (not that I assume the old ones fit their stereotype either, at least always.)

I have a glimmer that the brutality of our prisons is a marker for a weakness of our civilization.

On this guy, I see all the reasonable points that he be treated moderately heftily, no more or less. But also see him as an inplace victim to be. And so what, that is what all the others deal with.

Paris Hilton in the prison populace, one could shudder. Who knows? Maybe people would like her, support her and protect her. I'm not a follower.

I'm ignorant, of course, but I see not much will to change incarceration -over many years of my life.

It's still, Throw Away The Key for most, sometimes for relatively little lawbreaking, though not always.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2007 06:46 am
joefromchicago wrote:
DrewDad wrote:
I think you did imply a difference. Debra compared shooting a bum and shooting a child. You then stated that one doesn't sentence based on the crime one "could have committed." That implies that crime would be different.

Of course the crimes would be different. In an earlier post, I asked Setanta: "I agree that everyone should pay the same price for the same crime. But then, what crimes are identical?" Let me answer that rhetorical question: no crimes are identical. If the defendant in this case went out tomorrow and shot the same hobo in the same leg with the same gun, it still wouldn't be the same crime. A principal difference, for instance, would be that Grimes wouldn't be committing his first offense the second time around. And that has nothing to do with the "value" of the victim and everything to do with the defendant.

I have no idea what the circumstances would be if Grimes had shot a child instead of a homeless person, because that would be a different crime. But it wouldn't be a different merely because the identity of the victim was different. It would be different because it would be a different crime.

My point was that we don't, as a society, judge defendants based upon the crimes that they could have committed. Grimes wasn't charged with murder because he could have killed his victim, and I'm sure you'd say that it would be unjust to have a system that did that.

What a mastubatory little argument.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2007 07:44 am
DrewDad wrote:
What a mastubatory little argument.

What a limp and flaccid retort.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2007 07:46 am
joefromchicago wrote:
DrewDad wrote:
What a mastubatory little argument.

What a limp and flaccid retort.

Not a retort, more of an observation.

The bullshit's so high in here, I may need to go find my hipwaders....
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2007 08:07 am
if he was black or hispanic he would probablly be in prison right now.
yeah i dont have facts but i do have my observations Smile
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2007 05:44 pm
DrewDad wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Debra Law wrote:
Whether the victim is a child or a bum, the crime committed is the same: it's an assault on another person with a dangerous weapon. You are effectively endorsing the view that frat boy's punishment for an assault on another person with a dangerous weapon ought to be mitigated because his victim was a bum. Accordingly, because you value frat boy as a person more than you value his victim as a person, frat boy should not be punished harshly.

I neither said nor implied anything about the "value" of the victim or the relative worths of the victim and the defendant. You are totally out of line with this argument, Debra.

I think you did imply a difference. Debra compared shooting a bum and shooting a child. You then stated that one doesn't sentence based on the crime one "could have committed." That implies that crime would be different.

You may wish that you had not made a distinction, but you have.


Precisely what you said, DrewDad. The crime is the same regardless of the identity of the victim; it is an assault against another person with a deadly weapon. If all the facts and circumstances are the same and we simply substitute a "different" victim (i.e., a child victim instead of a bum victim), people would not be so quick to defend the court's decision by focusing on how "good" the defendant is and how we shouldn't ruin HIS life by imposing a harsh sentence. That kind of analysis totally dismisses the harm to the victim. The victim was assaulted--shot with a deadly weapon--and the victim suffered bodily injury. The defendant deserves harsh punishment for the substantial harm that he inflicted upon his victim, not a slap on the wrist.

And, Joe did imply that that the substitution of a different victim somehow makes this a "different crime." Joe's argument was effectively this: Inasmuch as the defendant didn't shoot a child, he shouldn't be punished as if he shot a child. Accordingly, it does appear that there is a weighing process going on that bases the appropriate punishment on the relative worth of the defendant vs. the relative worth of the victim.

Defendant GOOD vs. Victim (bum/hobo) BAD = slap on wrist

Defendant (maybe not so good in relation to his victim) vs. Victim (child) GOOD = harsher punishment.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2007 06:05 pm
I missed contemplating about a child versus a 'hobo', am having enough of thinking about the shooter and the hobo.

I think the punishment fits the crime, and that the shooter could become a new victim is dealt with in the prison system. For example, if whatshername does spend 45 days in jail, it will be outside of the regular population, given her celebrity et al. No such luck for a lot of others.

This is the press motivated flume from a volcano. The brutality of prisons to the inmates and from prison culture to the inmates could be addressed, but that people don't care. Now a frat boy might get caught up in it. Now it's news.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2007 10:51 pm
Debra Law wrote:
The crime is the same regardless of the identity of the victim...

No it isn't, and even you don't believe that. You think the punishment would be more severe if he shot a child -- so clearly even you believe the crimes would be different.

Debra Law wrote:
And, Joe did imply that that the substitution of a different victim somehow makes this a "different crime."

No, I believe that the totality of the circumstances (which includes the identity of the victim) makes them different crimes.

Debra Law wrote:
Joe's argument was effectively this: Inasmuch as the defendant didn't shoot a child, he shouldn't be punished as if he shot a child. Accordingly, it does appear that there is a weighing process going on that bases the appropriate punishment on the relative worth of the defendant vs. the relative worth of the victim.

Such a comic misconstrual of my argument can only mean that you either didn't read what I wrote or that you are being willfully ignorant. In either case, I don't feel obliged to spend the time and effort to correct you.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2007 09:27 am
This has really been an interesting conversation. Both sides are being argued with more eloquence than I could possibly muster so I've been sitting back and enjoying my education. Thank you all for that.

I've been thinking a lot about whether the same charges equate to the same crime. Then, this morning, I came across this in my paper....

But first, a reminder of the charges in the hobo/frat boy case:

Quote:

Grimes has been charged with assault in the second degree, a Class B felony, and unlawful use of weapon, a Class C felony.

Former OSU student and former member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Joshua Grimes, pled guilty on Monday to charges of unlawful use of a firearm and assault in the third degree.


Now, on to today's paper....

Quote:
Halloween shooter


gets 40 months

A Southeast Portland teenager was sentenced Wednesday to 40 months in prison for his part in a gang-related shooting on a MAX train on Halloween.

Damien Christopher Rouse, 17, was prosecuted as an adult for the shooting near Northeast 122nd Avenue and East Burnside Street. He pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a firearm and no contest to attempted second-degree assault.

Rouse was set to go to trial last month, but a prosecution witness did not show up. Rouse decided to accept a plea agreement before the witness was found.


I can't find much information on the MAX train case -- I suppose because the shooter was a minor (but charged as an adult).

Without knowing anything about Rouse's past (or whether it would come into play because it happened while a minor) and, knowing that nobody was injured in the shooting, does it seem fair that he gets 40 months while Grimes gets 5 months?

What's the difference between second degree and third degee assault? That is the only difference in their pleas.

Similar pleas, very different sentences.

Is it the same crime, or not?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2007 10:14 am
boomerang wrote:
Is it the same crime, or not?

No, of course they're not the same. But knowing even less about this MAX train assault case than the frat shooting case, I won't speculate on why the shooter in the first case got a stiffer sentence than the one in the second -- I'll leave that for everyone else in this thread.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2007 10:37 am
joefromchicago wrote:
No, of course they're not the same.


That's the way I see it too, joe. Even though they plead guilty to essentially the same charges, it isn't the same crime at all.

Obviously there should be some flexiblity in sentencing but.... I don't know..... where or how they draw the lines. I suppose that's why they call them judges.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 May, 2007 12:11 pm
Re: Did you hear the one about the hobo and the frat boy?
Quote:
The two then went to a room overlooking the alley, Grimes saying there was a "hobo out there." At that point Grimes shot and hit Sanderson.

This, for me, is what makes the sentence wrong. It was premeditated stupidity, and an attempt to terrorize someone weaker than he.
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bulldogcoma
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Apr, 2012 01:20 am
@boomerang,
Drug dealing and drug use are not victimless crimes. The drug trade is very violent and murderous.


Boomerang, although negative actions perpetrated by those who are inebriated can be likened to their use of drugs, I don't believe possession should be a crime punishable by lengthy prison stays (not sure if you do either, but it seems that is the direction you are leaning towards). If an action performed under the influence of drugs becomes unlawful, punish the action. The drug trade is violent and murderous due to the fact that drugs are in fact illegal. The fact that drug possession can and does get people more time in prison than shooting someone for shits and giggles is outlandish. Dealing dangerous drugs such as crystal meth is a totally different story, but from an individual standpoint I believe drug use is justified because it does in fact boil down to a matter of personal responsibility.
0 Replies
 
 

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