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  1. 17 Aug '10 01:29
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100817/ap_on_re_us/us_food_thief_prisoner;_ylt=Ap1Ry82tHM7mJqzC9EPofqus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFlM203b3NmBHBvcwM2OARzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX3Vfc19uZXdzBHNsawNsYWp1ZGdlZnJlZXM-

    http://tinyurl.com/24g4olj

    LA judge frees thief who got 25 yrs on 3rd strike
    AP

    By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON, Associated Press Writer – 49 mins ago

    LOS ANGELES – A judge on Monday ordered the release of a man who spent 13 years behind bars for trying to steal food from a church, his third offense under California's three-strikes law.

    Tears streamed down Gregory Taylor's face when Judge Peter Espinoza amended his sentence to eight years already served. The judge asked a bailiff to get him a tissue.

    He was taken back into custody and will be released when his paperwork is completed in at least two days.

    Family members and supporters applauded and the 47-year-old Taylor quietly thanked the court and his lawyers for "giving me another chance ... and my family for sticking by me."

    The Stanford Law Project filed a writ of habeas corpus seeking freedom for Taylor, who was sentenced in 1997 to 25 years to life under California's three-strikes law. The district attorney did not oppose the group's move.

    "I thought I was going to cry too," said Stanford Law School student Reiko Rogozen, who started working on the case in January. "He was scared up until the last minute that it wasn't actually going to happen."

    Taylor was arrested 13 years ago while trying to pry open a screen above the kitchen door at St. Joseph's Church in downtown Los Angeles.

    He was convicted of third-strike burglary due to convictions of robbery twice in the 1980s, once for stealing a purse containing $10 and once for trying to rob a man on the street. He didn't use a weapon in either case, and no one was injured.

    The Rev. Alan McCoy testified Taylor was often given food and allowed to sleep at the church. He told the court that Taylor was a peaceful man who made mistakes and was struggling with homelessness and crack addiction.

    ...

    Taylor's attorney argued that the crime was at most misdemeanor trespassing because Taylor thought he had the right to take food, but the judge at the time refused to let him present that argument to the jury.

    The 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld that decision, questioning whether a "claim of right" defense could ever be valid and saying Taylor could not have honestly believed he had the right to break into the church. The state Supreme Court ordered the lower court to reconsider the conviction and life sentence.

    ...

    Gabriel Martinez, a law student with the Stanford Three-Strikes Project, said his classmates have identified 400 cases in which defendants received harsh sentences across the state.

    The Stanford Three Strikes Project recently lost two cases — one for a man who stole a pair of socks and another for a man convicted of having 0.1 grams of methamphetamine, Martinez said.

    ...
  2. 17 Aug '10 01:30
    the church gave him food for free. he didn't have to break in.

    why would the court NOT think he was breaking in to steal to support his crack habit?
  3. 17 Aug '10 01:30
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100817/ap_on_re_us/us_food_thief_prisoner;_ylt=Ap1Ry82tHM7mJqzC9EPofqus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFlM203b3NmBHBvcwM2OARzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX3Vfc19uZXdzBHNsawNsYWp1ZGdlZnJlZXM-

    http://tinyurl.com/24g4olj

    LA judge frees thief who got 25 yrs on 3rd strike
    AP

    By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON, Associated Press Writer – 49 mins ago

    LOS ANGELES ...[text shortened]... r a man convicted of having 0.1 grams of methamphetamine, Martinez said.

    ...


    ...

    A dissenting justice said Taylor was a 20th-century version of Jean Valjean, a character imprisoned for stealing bread in Victor Hugo's novel "Les Miserables."

    ...
  4. 17 Aug '10 10:02
    Perhaps it would make more sense to apply "three strikes" only to crimes of a certain minimum severity.
  5. 17 Aug '10 10:14
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Perhaps it would make more sense to apply "three strikes" only to crimes of a certain minimum severity.
    its hard to draw the line.

    and besides, this is only applicable to minor crimes. you will not give a rapist 5 years for the first 2 rapes and 25 for the third.


    each crime should be judged accordingly. if there are previous crimes, aggravating circumstances. the main issue is that you make laws that in theory sound good but when human element enters the equation injustice happens.
  6. 17 Aug '10 10:17
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    the church gave him food for free. he didn't have to break in.

    why would the court NOT think he was breaking in to steal to support his crack habit?
    he broke in to support his eating habit. nasty habit though.


    what do you think he could have found there? a zillion dollars to buy all the crack in the world? it was a church kitchen. most likely they don't even cary a cash register.
  7. 17 Aug '10 11:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    its hard to draw the line.

    and besides, this is only applicable to minor crimes. you will not give a rapist 5 years for the first 2 rapes and 25 for the third.


    each crime should be judged accordingly. if there are previous crimes, aggravating circumstances. the main issue is that you make laws that in theory sound good but when human element enters the equation injustice happens.
    It is hard to draw the line, but perhaps it has been drawn in the wrong place.

    By the way, do rapists really get the same sentence for repeat offenses?
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Aug '10 14:50
    3 strikes is an unconstitutional travesty. 13 years for stealing a little food is insane.
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    17 Aug '10 14:57
    Originally posted by sh76
    3 strikes is an unconstitutional travesty.
    Misanthropy, brinkmanship and willy waving, on the part of legislators, all rolled into one.
  10. 17 Aug '10 20:40
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    he broke in to support his eating habit. nasty habit though.


    what do you think he could have found there? a zillion dollars to buy all the crack in the world? it was a church kitchen. most likely they don't even cary a cash register.
    it was a church-run charity kitchen. they'd given him food for free already!

    if he could find any cash or anything of value he could trade for cash or crack, he could get crack. it doesn't cost that much.

    http://www.addictionca.com/FAQ-crack.htm

    Q.) What is the street price of crack?

    A.) Typically, cocaine HCl is converted into crack cocaine, or “rock,” within the United States by the secondary wholesaler or retailer. Crack cocaine is often packaged in vials, glassine bags, and film canisters. The size of a crack rock can vary, but generally ranges from 1/10 to 1/2 gram. Rocks can sell for as low as $3 to as high as $50, but prices generally range from $10 to $20.

    * The Street Price of Crack Cocaine $40 - 1/4 gram (larger "rock"
    * $10-$25 - 1/10 gram (smaller "rock"
    * Note: Prices vary according to purity, quantity, place of origin and sale, and numerous market trends.
  11. 19 Aug '10 00:55
    what's the street price in EU?
  12. 19 Aug '10 01:02
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    he broke in to support his eating habit. nasty habit though.


    what do you think he could have found there? a zillion dollars to buy all the crack in the world? it was a church kitchen. most likely they don't even cary a cash register.
    He was breaking into the church to steal, not eat. Food wasn't on his mind.
    Saying "I was hongry" was just an excuse.
  13. 19 Aug '10 09:41
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham
    He was breaking into the church to steal, not eat. Food wasn't on his mind.
    Saying "I was hongry" was just an excuse.
    church kitchen
    not necessarily church
    as in not that much money. he might have sold the silverware they give the homeless to eat though.
    or perhaps the thousand of dollars that come from the homeless paying for their meals.


    i remain at my idea that should he wanted to steal, he would have mugged someone or break into a house.
  14. 19 Aug '10 12:05
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi

    i remain at my idea that should he wanted to steal, he would have mugged someone or break into a house.
    And if he wanted to eat he would have just walked into a restaurant and ran off without paying

    Waiting until nightime to burglarize a church for food?

    Don't be naive.
  15. 19 Aug '10 12:07
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham
    And if he wanted to eat he would have just walked into a restaurant and ran off without paying

    Waiting until nightime to burglarize a church for food?

    Don't be naive.
    where does it say it was at nighttime. maybe one of us doesn't have all the facts