In Prison since 1982 for Stealing $9

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For mugging $9 off someone, to be clear. This does not mean I support all habitual offender laws

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He’s not in prison for stealing $9, hes in prison for mugging someone while high on drugs having committed several previous crimes. The fact that the victim only had $9 makes it even worse in my opinion as the victim had to go through the ordeal for just $9, perhaps it was even their last $9.

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He is studying for his GED

This is just one eyebrow raising thing about this woe is me article.

He got sober in prison 18 years ago, despite being surrounded by drugs. “I just talked to God about it,” he said.

…does math in head…

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I suspect if habitual offenders were removed from polite society without possibility of parole until they sorted themselves out, then countries which are now a bit crap would be a lot nicer. Statistically speaking, most crime is committed by the same assholes going in and out of the courts/prisons until they eventually calm down in middle age, or die. In some countries (I’m thinking of the UK in particular) they’re just ignored by the police because they know that the legal system is so broken that arresting them is a waste of time and effort.

OTOH I see no value in jail as a solution (bearing in mind that a lot of criminals have been dealt a shitty hand to begin with) and I see even less point in keeping a harmless old man in jail at the public expense.

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The value of locking criminals up is that they are physically separated from law abiding citizens and thus prevented from causing further harm to those citizens.

Assuming (likely very generously) that Willie Simmons only committed the crimes he was caught for, had he been kept in prison after the first one then the victims in the second and third crimes would never have been bothered by Willie, had he been kept in after the second crime the third victim would have never been mugged. Likely countless potential victims have been protected because he is in prison serving a life sentence. Seems the system has definitely worked.

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what were his previous two crimes, and how badly the third victim was injured? Or, in the US, measurement of punishment is determined by the type of a crime and results of the crime are not considered?

It depends on the state. In general, habitual offender laws enable judges to hand out far longer sentences than would have been possible otherwise though most don’t really come down on people unless they are violent crimes.

Following is the current situation for Alabama. If he’s in for life without parole, it was his third offense, as the article says, though that would mean that a prior was a Class A felony.

image

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He should be met with a prison sentence and owes a debt to society. I don’t think almost 4 decades is reasonable for this though. Even as a repeat offender. Seems excessive.

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That he was caught and found guilty for.

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so, grand larceny and receiving stolen property are class A felony in Alabama?

First Degree Robbery
A robbery charge is elevated to first degree robbery when the victim or someone else not involved in the crime is seriously injured. First degree robbery may also take place if the perpetrator is armed with a deadly weapon and threatens to use it against the victim.

The victim was seriously injured.

He’s 62. He’s been in jail since he was 25, before Return of the Jedi came out, for some idea of scale. Once he was arguably a threat - now he certainly isn’t. When he was high and “wrestled a man to the ground and stole his wallet”, he committed a crime and he deserved serving time - but surely that time has passed.

I haven’t seen any reports that say how seriously the victim was injured.

If someone had pushed you over and stolen your wallet back when you were on your way home from seeing E.T., and that was his only known violent offense, would you want the guy to still be in jail today? I like to think my own reaction would be “Oh, I hope that guy got himself sorted out.”

Here’s the actual Twitter thread that got the guy more attention; the reporter couldn’t find records of the receiving stolen property charge:

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How can you know this? What makes you a better judge of an Alabaman in Alabama state custody since 1982 than Alabama?

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I’d be more concerned about what made Matt Bevin a better judge… Didn’t he pardon people for all sorts of heinous crimes recently.

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That was dreadful. He pardoned one child rapist who used a dildo on a 15 year old boy so violently he bust the boy’s bowels.

I’ve no idea what was behind all that. Was he just being vindictive because he’d been voted out?

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Me neither.

He also pardoned a guy who beat and strangled a female co-worker to death and then cut her head off, and who was like two years or something into the sentence.

Hopefully those people arent actually going to get let out

comparing to the penalty against a murder by DUI, I think it is excessive. Who decided it?

Easy to disagree with, no doubt. I still don’t see a reason to take Alabama justice out of the hands of Alabama.

But I get it. In today’s woke journalism, everybody got to find their daily hit of rage. Blevin will do as well as anything.

you still don’t see a reason to take China justice out of the hands of China too.

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Obviously we’re talking about Kentucky not Alabama, but he also pardoned a guy who raped his daughter in front of his other daughter but because her hyman was still intact they must have been lying.

He’s a bad 'un and mistake.