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My Decade as a Fugitive(story.californiasunday.com)

183 pointswallflower posted 7 months ago113 Comments
DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

Good read.

But stories like this always make me wonder how society is ever going to find a path forward. The young idealist who saw a black man as a victim of the system ended up fleeing from him and living in hiding to protect herself and their child. But on the opposite end, some comments here feel this guy deserves no break at all.

How do we make a better world when it clearly doesn't work to say "You were just a victim and you deserve better!" but it also doesn't work to err on the side of "The beatings shall continue until morale improves."

I'm kind of glad to see he found some sort of path out, against very long odds. We seem to do such a poor job of that at the societal level.

skrebbel said 7 months ago:

I think this is an excellent observation and I agree that it's very hard.

I'm no expert whatsoever, but I think that the key to all of this stuff is nuance. Nuance, nuance, nuance. Nobody's totally good or totally bad, and you just need to dig deep enough to see the details. A jury can see all the nuance (if there's enough lawyer time/money to dig it up). A judge can (eg in contintenal European courts).

Here in NL there's a popular narrative that judges are old rich white dudes who are disconnected from reality (they're actually mostly middle-age white women, but OK). I never understood that narrative - these are people who get confronted with all the nasty parts of society in their full nuance, all day every day. They see that somebody commits wellfare fraud, but they do it out of desparation to keep their family afloat. They see that someone beats up their wife, but it's driven by harsh inescapable alcoholism. These are tragedies plain and simple, and it's extremely hard to just say either "you were just a victim!" or "lock you up forever!".

Personally I think mob outrage (eg on Twitter), or justice processes with too little money for proper lawyering, are a serious threat to society precisely because of this. If there's no time or space for nuance, everything becomes black&white and tragedies deepen.

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

Alcohol is not a drug that makes people violent. It merely lowers inhibitions. If drunkards are violent, the violence can't reasonably be blamed on the alcohol per se.

Giving people a chance at a fresh start only works if it involves a "tough love" approach with an explicit expectation that future behavior must be better. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior and it is notoriously hard to get people to actually change, often even in cases where they want to change.

People who get told "It's not your fault. You were the victim of a broken system." tend to not conclude that their behavior still needs to change going forward. That message tends to actively hinder the reform process.

They tend to want to justify their past behavior as okay because they had a good reason and it wasn't their fault. This tends to result in monsters, not reformed lives.

Even if you supposedly "do everything right," extremely warped people tend to be talented at running things through their warped minds and coming up with creative interpretations that just keep justifying their horrifying behavior.

dragonwriter said 7 months ago:

> Alcohol is not a drug that makes people violent. It merely lowers inhibitions.

Even if lowering inhibitions was the only mechanism by which alcohol induced violence (it's not, despite the popularity of the myth that disinhibition is the only mechanism by which alcohol affects behavior; for instance, various forms of alcohol- or alcohol-withdrawal induced psychoses exist that have nothing to do with disinhibition), alcohol would still be a drug that induced violence.

> If drunkards are violent, the violence can't reasonably blamed on the alcohol per se.

On the one hand, nothing can be blamed on alcohol because alcohol isn't a moral agent. On the other hand, there's nothing special about disinhibition as a mechanism of inducing behavioral change that makes the disinhibitor any less the cause of the resulting behavioral change than it would be if it induced the change by some other mechanism.

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

They used to claim that alcohol caused pedophilia. It doesn't. Pedophiles drink to intentionally lower their inhibitions when planning to abuse.

You can claim there's no distinction, but there is. Drinking doesn't cause people to suddenly and uncharacteristically lust after children. Lowering your inhibitions to facilitate some impetus already inside you is different in important ways from instilling something in you that wasn't previously there.

dragonwriter said 7 months ago:

> They used to claim that alcohol caused pedophilia.

I'm not sure who "they" are, but this is changing the subject. Alcohol absolutely does cause violence, including by mechanisms other than disinhibition.

> Pedophiles drink to intentionally lower their inhibitions when planning to abuse.

People who are able to form a plan to abuse don't need to lower inhibitions; if its done with a conscious plan, then having something to point to (even to onesself) to evade responsibility is more likely than lowering inhibitions as the motive. There are also absolutely cases of people who abuse under the influence of alcohol without a conscious plan prior to becoming intoxicated (which may still be a matter of disinhibition, but very different in character--if not ultimate moral culpability--from when alcohol is part of a plan of abuse, and in any case this is all besides the point on the question of violence generally, which alcohol, through various induced psychoses, among other means, absolutely does cause by means other than disinhibition.)

> Drinking doesn't cause people to suddenly and uncharacterustifally lust after children.

I don't really care if people have un-acted-upon socially-unacceptable impulses (pretty much everyone does, even if it isn't pedophilia, which I have no idea why you have decided to shift the conversation to from violence.) Alcohol absolutely does induce people to act on such impulses when they otherwise would not choose to, even when they become intoxicated without any intent to act on any such impulse--that's disinhibition--and absolutely does also lead to dangerous socially-unacceptable action not related to disinhibition, as well.

> Lowering your inhibitions to facilitate some impetus already inside you is different in important ways from instilling something in you that wasn't previously there.

There are certainly contexts in which the difference is important, but its absolutely not important when discussing the social costs associated with the drug in question and, in any case, the mechanisms by which alcohol leads to violence are not limited to disinhibition in any case, no matter how popular that myth is. Psychosis induced by alcohol intoxication is real. Psychosis associated with alcohol withdrawal is also real. Both can produce violence, and neither has anything to do with disinhibition.

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

I wasn't trying to shift the conversation anywhere. I just felt it would be an easier to parse example. People typically comprehend the idea that sexual orientation doesn't suddenly and magically change because you had a beer. General understanding of anger management tends to lack a clear and bright line of that sort.

saberience said 7 months ago:

I would say that there is something specific about alcohol that increases violence actually. MDMA, Cannabis, and various other drugs also lower inhibitions but I've never seen anyone on MDMA or Cannabis get violent or even come anywhere close to violence.

Alcohol is an absolutely brain-warping drug and can create behaviors and new personalities which are light-years from how somebody was originally. I know this from personal experience seeing two close friends pass into alcoholic territory and become completely different people.

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

That's anecdotal. I have my own anecdotal first-hand experience that contradicts yours.

Battle Of The Personal Anecdotes never settles any internet arguments ever.

dragonwriter said 7 months ago:

> I have my own anecdotal first-hand experience that contradicts yours.

Leaving aside reliability concerns of anecdote in associating cause and effect, an anecdote could can suffice to say that alcohol does induce violence by means other than disinhibition (since if does so even once, this is true) but it could suffice (even, again, leaving aside reliability concerns) to say that it does not, because it not doing so in one particular case (or even a larger number of particular cases) does not support the argument that it cannot do so. All you can get from "it didn't happen this time" is "it doesn't always happen", not "it doesn't happen at all".

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

There can be many confounding factors in a particular instance. Correlation does not prove causation.

I've had personal experience with thinking X caused Y and only realizing years later that there was some unaccounted for variable that I had been unaware of at the time.

dragonwriter said 7 months ago:

> There can be many confounding factors in a particular instance. Correlation does not prove causation.

Yes, that is a source of reliability errors in associating cause with effect in anecdote, which is why I was discussing what was possible even in the semi-ideal case that such reliability errors were not a concern. Obviously, realistically, neither case can be made by anecdote, but anecdote can't even contradict one side of that discussion, because something not occurring in one case isn't inconsistent with it occurring sometimes, while something occurring even once is inconsistent with it never occurring.

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

If it's unreliable, it's unreliable. Setting up hypotheticals where you can rely on it so as to suggest that my unreliable anecdote is inferior to their unreliable anecdote is not a good faith tactic of debate.

mattigames said 7 months ago:

MDMA had been used to treat PTSD unlike alcohol, that's not an anecdote, it's the direct positive effects tested in multiple experiments. Also the amount of crimes commited under drug influence (percentage wise) is higher on alcohol than marihuana and MDMA, that's also not anecdote is statistics that repeat time and time again in multiple nations.

longwayoff said 7 months ago:

Please tell us your anecdote, or are you just trolling?

Unfounded/hypothetical gatekeeping is just not required.

Its perfectly valid for people to ask if anyone has seen any evidence to the contrary of their personal experience.

dgb23 said 7 months ago:

> But stories like this always make me wonder how society is ever going to find a path forward.

Maybe the mere fact that you are thinking this way is a good sign.

In a sense we are the products of our time, in relation to our environment. It seems to me that people appreciate both the empathic and rational more and more.

kstenerud said 7 months ago:

There are countries in Europe that have already made this better world. It is possible.

said 7 months ago:
DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

Europe basically shipped its rejects to the US (and Australia), then likes to claim moral superiority and better ability to play "let's all just get along."

skrebbel said 7 months ago:

Not the rejects, the prudes.

mantoto said 7 months ago:


Any more information on your comment?

said 7 months ago:
CDSlice said 7 months ago:

I'm assuming she is referring to the British shipping off their convicts to the US and then Australia in penal colonies.

ilamont said 7 months ago:

He got a huge break at sentencing.

Assuming the cash economy will be greatly reduced in the year 2029, and tech deeply entrenched in nearly everything we do, how will it be possible to live "underground," either out of necessity or a desire to stay anonymous?

rosybox said 7 months ago:

I'm glad he got a break, for his sake and his family's, but if he had turned himself in in 2005 he would probably still be in prison. I like that this sentence encourages people to turn themselves in though, but I feel like it also rewarded him for running from the law. I think our sentencing is too harsh even for violent criminals. Even once violent people can change their life around.

cantrevealname said 7 months ago:

> if he had turned himself in in 2005 he would probably still be in prison

My first impression is to agree with you (and I'd cite Abbie Hoffman as a similar case), but the article notes that Waymond's partner Ben spent only 7 months in jail for the same crime. However, the article says that Waymond had 13 felony counts against him, so maybe he had pending charges from different crimes as well?

Abbie Hoffman[1] did indeed benefit from going underground for 7 years. The 1960's activist was charged with conspiracy to sell cocaine in 1973, fled and stayed hidden until 1980, and served only 4 months in jail after he turned himself in.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbie_Hoffman

topynate said 7 months ago:

> the article notes that Waymond's partner Ben spent only 7 months in jail for the same crime

It only says that he served a 7 month sentence, not necessarily for that crime.I think there's a good chance "Ben" got away with the armed robbery entirely.

mtnGoat said 7 months ago:

Yes, being a getaway driver is a much lower offense then a entering a domicile with a gun and robing people. You can't compare the two at all.

umvi said 7 months ago:

I agree if it's a one off thing like this. Gang and organized crime members, no way. The social aspect of organized crime makes it super hard to reform.

dbt00 said 7 months ago:

[citation needed]

umvi said 7 months ago:

Read about organized crime, specifically Latin American gangs and American Mafia. The organization gets deeply ingrained in your family and friend support structure such that it is very hard to get away from it, even if you want to.

Even though it is fictional, "The Godfather" is a very good illustrative example of this phenomenon.

crispyambulance said 7 months ago:

> ...if he had turned himself in in 2005 would probably still be in prison.

I think that's highly unlikely. He was not even arrested, let alone judged. And conviction itself is extremely contingent on many factors that have little to do with the actual crime itself. When someone says that a crime gets "40 years to life", they have no idea what the actual sentence will be (assuming there's a even a conviction for any/all of the charges from the crime).

sysbin said 7 months ago:

I cannot make a choice that's truly my own when confined in a system and without my choice being effected by the system. More simply put everything is predetermined. So I think our sentencing is fundamentally too harsh when we're punishing humans that didn't have control over their birth into a life that will have whatever outcome that cannot change. I think the justice system should keep that in mind when designing the process it functions under. Although I think people prefer ignorance instead of reality.

lopmotr said 7 months ago:

If that's true for some criminals, then isn't it true for all of them? If not, how would you distinguish the ones who used free will from the automatons? It sounds ripe for unfairness. "Oh, my poor client was abused as a child, so it's not his fault raped and tortured that toddler. Let him off lightly please, your honor." while some other defendant can't think of a sob story because his problem is an innate undiagnosed brain defect so he gets a harsher sentence.

Or are you advocating for lesser sentences for all crime in general? That's something I think should be decided by measuring its effectiveness not people feeling sorry for/angry at criminals, which is more a function of what the TV shows them than reality. I'd like to see ongoing measurement of the effects of sentence durations so they naturally adjust to suit changes in society. Maybe that could be done by applying a random delta to each sentence duration then measuring recidivism rates and continually adjusting the mean sentences duration to minimize recidivism. Just at a guess.

sysbin said 7 months ago:

> then isn't it true for all of them?

Nobody can alter fate. Cause & effect starts at birth and is metaphorically chained to the present outcome.

> Or are you advocating for lesser sentences for all crime in general?

One thing I'm certain on. The justice system shouldn't label a person a criminal after the rehabilitation. Typically, I think crime needs to be thought of like catching the flu. The outcome is more severe than the flu but the process for treatment should be similar ideology. We have someone that ended up in a bad situation without fault and even though people are socially conditioned to think otherwise. That's something I believe should be changed as well. People should be educated of how they didn't have "real" control over the outcome of their life. Although I think the average person finds it hard to grasp at first.

You mention undiagnosed brain defect and there has been a case where a tumour resulted in a married man having sexual feelings for an underage girl. The feelings were gone once the tumour was removed. The feelings did come back though but same as the tumour and in the same exact spot on the brain. Thought you might find that interesting if you haven't read about it.

lopmotr said 7 months ago:

> The justice system shouldn't label a person a criminal after the rehabilitation.

Except it doesn't usually provide rehabilitation. If it did, that would be great. But as it is, somebody released from prison really is at high risk of reoffending so people do need to be warned of their danger and protected from them. If you could find a way to actually rehabilitate criminals, then I'd agree, they'd become like normal people afterwards.

If it turns out that crime rates are unaffected by the reduced deterrent, then good. But it does have to actually keep crime down, not allow it to increase and I think that effectiveness of the justice system needs to be measured all the time not just set at the height of public frenzy then forgotten about like it is.

dieFledermaus said 7 months ago:

>...somebody released from prison really is at high risk of reoffending so people do need to be warned of their danger and protected from them.

I think you've reiterated the OC's comment that you're replying to, without realising it.

Let's assume someone gets arrested for a felony and does their time (e.g.: pays their debt to society). At the point of release, in theory, they should have no hindrances to reintegrating into society; yet, we know that this is not the case for people in the states because things like a felony record can keep you getting employed.

So, we've released a person from prison, who can't find a place to live (depending on jurisdictions) and can't find gainful or meaningful employment enough to survive on their own.

Is it any wonder, then, that the resultant might be that they commit more crime? At the very least, if they get caught, they have a guaranteed bed and meals; which is a really shitty alternative, if you think about it.

Let's not forget that the system is incentivised for them re-offend because putting bodies in the cells is what keeps the for-profit prison-industrial complex running.

I don't pretend to have an answer, to be sure, but I think that a plausible avenue of probing might be to truly treat an individual as if they've actually paid their dues to society, once they've left the system. For example, a person with a felony 10 years ago shouldn't still be disbarred from employment, as if it happened yesterday.

To continue to punish them, indirectly, is - obviously - not going to work in anyone's favour, not the person who committed the crime and not society - who should be as concerned with their re-integration with society as much as they're concerned with the offender being "punished to maximum extent of the law".

jlokier said 7 months ago:

I don't know much about this subject, but I'm under the impression that this:

> somebody released from prison really is at high risk of reoffending

is rather dependent on the country, among other factors.

Which suggests the method of rehabilitation is important, and that some juristictions are more interested in finding good methods than others are.

vageli said 7 months ago:

> I cannot make a choice that's truly my own when confined in a system and without my choice being effected by the system. More simply put everything is predetermined.

To follow this line of thinking—is not then sentencing predetermined?

sysbin said 7 months ago:

Double predestination, or the double decree, is the doctrine that God actively reprobates, or decrees damnation of some, as well as salvation for those whom he has elected.

To answer your question, yes and I think society needs to change for the better from awareness to what you wrote. Similar how we used to think the world was flat, acknowledgement brings progress and advancement for humanity.

jlokier said 7 months ago:

If there's double predestination of that kind, then it's meaningless to say that society needs to change, as it's all predestined anyway.

I take the view that it isn't double predestined, and society, and ourselves, need to better ourselves. But to better ourselves, means giving criminals second chances, while protecting other people. After all, what you said about birth conditions and so on has some (i.e. nuanced) truth to it.

sysbin said 7 months ago:

> If there's double predestination of that kind, then it's meaningless to say that society needs to change, as it's all predestined anyway.

You're making an assumption regarding "meaningless" and that's arguable but off-topic. People can think everything is predestined and even use it as an awful excuse. Although, a difference exists from being educated about determinism and continuing to think everything is okay with unjust punishment compared to the current today of what's happening now with the incorrect assumption of choice exists. So I theorize there is the possibility for change because people live with the assumption of fault existing from making choice. Lastly, whether everything is predestined doesn't take away from right or wrong in the sense of people wanting to do the right thing compared to doing the wrong thing when knowing the truth.

I don't believe in double predestination either, in the religious sense. Some people just get a bad deal from the shuffle. You thinking what I say has "some" nuanced truth to it makes me think you're naive and deluded.

jlokier said 7 months ago:

Thanks for "naive and deluded". That's a strong thing to say, especially in response to a comment whose subtleties you don't appear to be trying to understand.

By "some", I mean that I do not think you are correct to assert predetermination or double predestination, and those are both parts of your assertion, so whatever truth ought to be taken from it by your reader, it's partial and nuanced.

Since you say you don't believe in double predestination either, it appears you agree with me on that.

If you believe in "simply put everything is predetermined", while not believing in double predestination and wanting people to choose a different future, I would say that is an extremely subtle and nuanced view you have there, that many would call contradictory.

Boiled down, I think you are saying it's wrong to believe anyone had a choice, and you want people to make a choice. Which really sounds contradictory on the face of it.

I'm not judging your ideas, and my intuition says I agree with your underlying thinking, and with your moral/ethical compass on this point, although the communication is pretty screwy.

sysbin said 7 months ago:

I don't believe in the aspect of God from the term.

wisty said 7 months ago:

The justice system is part of the system. You choose not to commit crimes because harsh penalties are a possible consequence.

sysbin said 7 months ago:

You don't realize that part of the system (the justice system) doesn't matter for the people that end up locked away. They didn't have any control in the outcome.

RaceWon said 7 months ago:

> sentencing is fundamentally too harsh when we're punishing humans that didn't have control over their birth into a life that will have whatever outcome

You need to spend a few nights in lock up. I did once in NYC during a holiday weekend. I wasn't scared because I can defend myself --really well... ridiculously well actually. But I asked one fellow what he was in for (Never Ever Do That btw), and he said casually "I offded some nigger".

Maybe it was self defense like he said, IDK. But people who live on the fringes Are different then those who don't, and if they feel violence or the threat of violence is a solution to the problem, then that's the path they take. Typically I don't get fucked with--something in my gaze cuts off that shit 99.99% of the time, but not always, and I count myself as lucky the few times serious shit went down in my life, I didn't lose.

Sounds like you carry a gun or are also strong, can read patterns at a glance and are really good with your hands. Most people aren't like us though.

IIAOPSW said 7 months ago:

I spent a night in central booking for arson (charges were latter dropped). I got the impression at any given time the people in there are 60% DUI, 30% domestic abuse, 10% everything else. I didn't see anyone being "fucked with". That part must come after indictment if you aren't simply released and given a court date. How big of a difference is it between central and rikers?

ci5er said 7 months ago:

Pre-paid debit cards. Also - buy from preppers. It's not like an iPhone with Facebook is a necessity. If you are looking for food, shelter and maybe a library, I don't think it is that hard. Maybe a little hermit-ey, but pretend you are living as a 1919 Wyoming homesteader, and you are still living a pretty decent (from 1750s standards) life!

ilamont said 7 months ago:

I'm thinking that the streets of 2029 will be covered by cameras and scanners with ubiquitous recognition and tracking capabilities, and financial transactions will be much easier for government officials to access and monitor. Can a person like Waymond get by in an urban area like Oakland? I'm not seeing it.

Maybe, like you say, living as a 1919 homesteader in the middle of nowhere is possible, but that's not an option for people who need access to employment, family members, etc.

dan-robertson said 7 months ago:

I’m thinking the streets of 2029 will be quite a lot like the streets of 2019. I don’t expect a massive change in surveillance or technology. I wouldn’t be surprised to see fewer cars (especially outside America). I expect the social problems would be different but I can’t guess how they would be different.

DougN7 said 7 months ago:

I think we’d be surprised what is already here. You can’t drive a stolen car through a medium town in Kansas (Lenexa) without the police chasing you down before you get out of town. Kansas!

dsfyu404ed said 7 months ago:

You can drive a car with an illegitimate foreign license plate down I95 through some of the most authoritarian parts of the northeast without being bothered.

There's a lot more luck involved than the people selling the dragnets would have you believe. That said, I still am not a fan of all this surveillance.

JabavuAdams said 7 months ago:

So, ah, you can't just leave us hanging...

dsfyu404ed said 7 months ago:

Quebec doesn't put registration year stickers on their plates so there's no way to tell without running the plate whether it's valid. If you just need to get a shitbox that moves under its own power from A to B it's a pretty cheap way to do it.

LeifCarrotson said 7 months ago:

Do you think the streets of 2019 are similar to the streets of 2009?

torgian said 7 months ago:

There will be more potholes and falling bridges

ci5er said 7 months ago:

Ah, well, I grew up 60 miles from the closest town, and 10 miles away from the closest neighbor, and the house didn't have a phone until I left for school at 15, so I guess my standards for acceptable-levels-of-existence are not up to the modern urban standards. I mean, all we did was grow our own food, and sell some of the excess to pay for land taxes and energy/fuel. And, no, I am not a boomer.

jlokier said 7 months ago:

In 2029, with cash no longer accepted by major vendors including government, and with ubiqutous tracking of individual's physical movements and financial transactions, so most people won't want the repurcussions of dealing with you even if they could, how are you going to be able to sell any of your food and use it to pay for land taxes?

cantrevealname said 7 months ago:

> Pre-paid debit cards

One major problem is that all your transactions with that debit card are now linked together. If you buy a cell phone with that card, all your calls, texts, and Internet activity get linked. If you buy a cab ride or bus ticket or subway pass, your travel is now linked. It would be extremely inconvenient and expensive to buy separate debit cards for every transaction. (Expensive because (a) there might be a card purchase fee and (b) you'll end up leaving residual amounts on each card after a single purchase per card.)

Furthermore, how would you pay for the pre-paid debit card? With cash of course. But as cash is becoming rarer, it's likely that the only way to buy a pre-paid card will be with a transaction from another card or account, linking it to other digital accounts. So you'll have a small degree of privacy with a pre-paid card, but nothing close to true anonymity.

There seems no way out of the surveillance universe as cash is marginalized.

ci5er said 7 months ago:

I find your predictions of the death of non-digital fungible currency to be unlikely, but, who knows! We'll see, I guess.

jlokier said 7 months ago:

It's started in a few places. Whether it will end up widespread remains to be seen.


"I'm a Norwegian who went to a Swedish music festival last summer.

I couldn't pay for a lot of things there, since the booths only accepted Swish (the only relevant Swedish mobile payment solution, it's a de facto monopoly). I couldn't sign up and use Swish on my phone, since it only accepts Swedish bank accounts. I couldn't borrow money from my Swedish friends either, since they didn't have cash (and it mostly wasn't accepted at the festival anyway).

When I could get someone to pay for me directly, transferring the money back to them was hard (since the festival didn't have any ATMs), so I had to go through the whole burdensome SWIFT procedure with getting their bank account number, their full name and address, their bank info, IBAN number of their bank etc, so I could send the money back when I got home to Norway.

Utopia my ass."

jerry1979 said 7 months ago:

I would imagine crypto could fill this void.

ColanR said 7 months ago:

Crypto is easily traceable.

helpPeople said 7 months ago:

Some are.

The ones that aren't, I'm starting to feel bullish on.

ColanR said 7 months ago:

For myself, I think there's enough information available that something like the FBI could still trace even monero.

nickthemagicman said 7 months ago:

I'm wondering how they can trace it if you buy it from an ATM with a mask on, or via a VPN on a battery powered raspberry pi you put in the ceiling of a coffeeshop, then you tumble it constantly.

Even if they break the Monero encryption, and the tumbling, it's a dead end at the point of purchase.

WalterBright said 7 months ago:

> I faced 44 years to life, but when it came time to sentence me, the judge cited my family, my steady work, my character references, and most importantly, ten years being crime-free.

I'd give him a big break on sentencing for those reasons, too.

Gunax said 7 months ago:

I am going to say something I know will be controversial: none of those should matter.

For one, his ability to evade justice for 10 years should not allow him to get off easier.

Nor should things like having a family. Why should I go to prison for longer just because I decided not to have kids?

As for working: that's what you're supposed to do. You don't get extra credit for that.

Everyone is willing to discuss racial disparities in sentencing. But what about family structure disparities? What about people who want to go live in the woods Unabomber style? Sentencing should not be a popularity contest. When someone is pointing a gun at you, you probably would not care either.

erikpukinskis said 7 months ago:

Not just having kids, but taking care of them. Because it demonstrates you are taking care of more than yourself.

If you were the caretaker for an elderly parent, or you foster animals, or you mentored other at risk kids, I think it would also cast you in a similar light.

Mirioron said 7 months ago:

It makes sense too. Prison is there to rehabilitate people and this guy had essentially already been rehabilitated.

cc81 said 7 months ago:

It is for both but rehabilitation and punishment. But in this case I do agree but let us say he had panicked shot and killed someone during that robbery.

Even though he would have lived his life the same most people would probably feel uneasy about a completely suspended prison sentence even if the man and his actions afterwards might have been exactly the same and that he would be no smaller risk to society after going to prison, possibly the opposite.

But we (or I at least) would not feel it was not fair unless he was punished by prison.

JackFr said 7 months ago:

To be clear, he was guilty of every crime with which he was charged. Home invasion. Armed robbery. Leading cops in a high speed chase.

The words ‘sorry’, ‘regret’, ‘remorse’ or ‘responsibility’ appear no where in this piece. This man is practically drowning in his own self-regard and self-pity.

He and he alone is the author of his misfortune.

JabavuAdams said 7 months ago:

He didn't kill or injure anyone, and then he turned his life around -- on his own. The daily actions of living a better life outweigh mere words in a story.

He robbed a bunch of drug dealers. Should he go apologize to them? It's quite likely that they have turned out worse than him.

lotsofpulp said 7 months ago:

Unless you want judges or juries to start deciding which victim deserves a crime inflicted upon them, I don’t see why it matters who he robbed.

He was also given a great opportunity in life, and threw it away by choosing to get drunk and getting into fights, enough times that he had a police record. Society can’t afford to let everyone go through a “get drunk and fight people, commit armed robbery, go on the run, come to senses” moment.

Also, I wouldn’t be spending my time associating with my dad if I knew he had been beating my mom and she had to run and hide from him with her children.

JabavuAdams said 7 months ago:

You seem to be coming from a punitive mind-set, yet also arguing about what is best for society.

It is better for society (AFAICT from this one piece) that this guy got the outcome he got. It has a better chance of breaking the generational cycle of poverty and criminality.

Regarding associating with his Dad -- there are many reasonable reactions. Kids need fathers. When trying to understand other people's behaviour, as frustrating as it might be, it's generally a mistake to think "well, I wouldn't do that." It's often more productive to ask "why would someone do that?".

EDIT> Regarding the nature of the robbery victims ... from a punitive stance hey they were drug-dealers. Outlaws shouldn't expected to be protected by the law. From a societal harm-reduction stance ... well, they got scared and robbed, not physically injured or killed. That should factor into the reaction. Depriving the subject's child of a father who seems to have reformed is probably worse than incarcerating him because even unharmed drug dealers need the protection of the law.

Mindless application of the law is not a good thing.

JackFr said 7 months ago:

You’re hanging a lot on the fact that he robbed drug dealers. What we know from his words is that he thought he was robbing drug dealers. But again to be clear, the reason he was robbing drug dealers is cause he thought they had the most money, not out of some sort of justice ethics.

Mine was the grandparent post, and nowhere do I claim that he deserves more punishment or to know what is best for society.

My only claim is that this man has very little regard for others and that his situation is the foreseeable consequence of bad choices.

nickthemagicman said 7 months ago:

To treat criminality as a simple algorithm without looking at the entirety of the situation seems very small minded to me.

Criminal cases have HIGH levels of subjectivity.

Is murder in self defense the same as shooting a person for their watch?

Is robbery to take care of your family or for survival the same as robbery for wealth?

Life is not black and white there are many shades of grey, it's not a simple this/that alogorithm in my opinion.

How many people make stupid mistakes when young and their brains aren't even fully formed and pay for it their entire lives?

newsbinator said 7 months ago:

> After four years together, Kim and I had a daughter

To me this was probably the most reckless part of the story.

Why would a person facing the rest of his life in prison bring a child into the world, knowing he'd likely abandon her as painfully as his dad abandoned him?

cthaeh said 7 months ago:

Because that person is a person. We all have Hope's and dreams, and more importantly we are all selfish.

jlokier said 7 months ago:

Here's one counterargument:

Psychological pain per se doesn't seem like a good enough reason to decide that a child should not exist - because that pain takes all sorts of forms. And it's so npredictable. Children of parents who don't abandon them are often painfully hurt for many reasons. And some children whose parents cannot be with them are not particularly wounded by it. Otherwise think of all the children of military personnel, who only see their parent occasionally. Many grow up fine. Is it reckless to allow military personnel to breed?

Here's another counterargument:

Perhaps it would be ultimately reckless to reduce diversity in the gene pool (or meme pool) by only allowing people who are a good fit for current society's ever-varying codes to pass on their genes.

(That's a variation on the "are you sure it's healthy for humans if only rich people breed" argument.)

I tend to think the attraction-and-breeding instinct is best treated with great respect and allowed to proceed if the people involved want to do it, as though it carries some kind of evolutionary wisdom greater than our small-minded culture. Like one of those "meta" rules of the game; if they're in love, let them be, even if they're judged criminals. I suspect that the enormous variation in how children turn out confirms this, especially when outcomes over multiple generations are tracked, but I'm no sociologist so I don't know.

DoreenMichele said 7 months ago:

Most children aren't actually planned. They are just a consequence of sex.

saagarjha said 7 months ago:

Source? I feel like most married couples who have children are generally trying to have kids, though they may not have planned it exactly.

JabavuAdams said 7 months ago:

Highly socio-economics dependent. This was my thinking too. I've since met mothers who believe "If you have a kid with some shady dude and he leaves, at least you get to keep the kid." Also there are the upper-middle-class third kid "oopses".

said 7 months ago:
77pt77 said 7 months ago:

Biological imperative.

Very few people are able to escape that.

booleandilemma said 7 months ago:

I seem to be escaping it pretty effortlessly, fwiw.

77pt77 said 7 months ago:

I meant very few people want to escape.

Some that don't want to escape it are forced into that by circumstance.

onetimemanytime said 7 months ago:

to each his own, but most, if they can, do have children. Those with genes that don't want to have kids went the way of dinosaurs.

watwut said 7 months ago:

Wish to have children is not just genetical. It is social as well and maybe more.

Nowdays, many people don't want kids.

onetimemanytime said 7 months ago:

Ok, fine. But is it genetical on most people? "Many" doesn't cut it. Even 20 people is many.

PhantomGremlin said 7 months ago:

Why would a person ... bring a child into the world

Do you believe that people are descended from ancestors in the Garden of Eden?

If not, the most rational explanation is that we are descended from ancient organisms on primordial Earth. Perhaps not even Earth (i.e. panspermia).

How many billions of generations of asexual reproduction as single celled organisms? How many millions of generations of multi celled animals? How many thousands of generations of Homo Sapiens?

Each and every one of your ancestors reproduced. They survived long enough to reproduce. Probability 1. Not probability 0.9999999999. Probability 1.

That is such an astonishing thing that it is literally inconceivable (not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable) by me, at least not fully.

And yet, here we are. All of us. We've all won the lottery of life. We, each and every one of us, are here because each and every one of our ancestors brought a child into the world.

That's why he had a child. Because each and every one of his ancestors had a child. And many of those children survived in a far far more difficult environment than what we find ourselves in today.

That biological imperative outweighs everything else. This isn't usually conscious. This doesn't have to be rational. It's hardwired deeply into our DNA. Because we wouldn't be here unless it was.

77pt77 said 7 months ago:

> and every one of your ancestors reproduced. They survived long enough to reproduce. Probability 1. Not probability 0.9999999999. Probability 1.

This is not how it works.

PhantomGremlin said 7 months ago:

This is exactly how it works. There is at least 1 unbroken chain of descent from the first life to you. To each of us.

It's only recently that new life can be created by other means. E.g. nowadays it is possible to remove the nuclear DNA from an egg and transfer it to another egg.

concordDance said 7 months ago:

Well if you want to get technical there is a 1 in a trillion xN chance that something really weird happened and your ancestor got some DNA from a dead thing.

PhantomGremlin said 7 months ago:

It's, perhaps, soon going to get much weirder than that.

How much gene editing (e.g. CRISPR[1]) before the resulting life is "artificial"?

A few edits to fix a genetic flaw such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia? What happens when it's possible to edit out 100 such genetic flaws?

And do we go beyond obvious flaws? What if we figure out how to give everyone the visual acuity of Chuck Yeager? How many more "improvements" before the result is something akin to Frankenstein's monster?

Biotechnology will probably be the biggest growth area of the 21st century.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR_gene_editing

concordDance said 7 months ago:

I guess the lesson here is to not have children with someone bouncing in and out of prison.

JabavuAdams said 7 months ago:

People never seem to learn that lesson, though. Also in some communities every attainable father is bouncing in and out of prison.

orthoxerox said 7 months ago:

These communities should have free access to sperm banks.

said 7 months ago:
crb002 said 7 months ago:

The guy has steady work yet the court rips him away from his family? What’s the point?

asdf21 said 7 months ago:

... Wouldn't the statute of limitations pass after 10 years?

austinl said 7 months ago:

It doesn't exactly work like that — you can't just go into hiding to wait out the time. Since there was a warrant out for his arrest, and marshals were actively looking for him, I'm assuming the limit was suspended.

See: https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/criminal/criminal-law-bas...

onetimemanytime said 7 months ago:

in some countries you can though, even if sentenced, so it's not a dumb question. The idea is that after, say, 15 years (jail or not,) you've been rehabbed, making jail moot.

PeterisP said 7 months ago:

They can't suddenly decide to press charges against someone after the statute of limitations, but once they have done so, that doesn't apply.

anfilt said 7 months ago:

That general involves the authorities too not know if the person comitted the crimes or call it off. Also some crimes dont have a statue of limitations. Like a lot states have no statue of limitations on armed robbery or something like 20 years. An other thing is the statue of limtations general require the accused to remain in the jurisdiction that the crime occured. So fleeing to an other state or country will just stop the clock. Stopping the statue of limtations acruing time. There are other things that can stop the clock as well.

Also if the accused is not careful they could wave statue of limitations as a defense. So just let your lawyer do things or take the 5th till one is appointed.

roywiggins said 7 months ago:

Being a fugitive from the law generally tolls- suspends- statutes of limitations.

codezero said 7 months ago:

I’m not a lawyer, but I thought that was a limit on bringing charges not on being captured, and wasn’t he charged/had a warrant out?

That said there are always ways to cook up new charges.

n8henry said 7 months ago:

Doubtful for an armed robbery

asdf21 said 7 months ago:


California says six years even for murder..

bdcravens said 7 months ago:

From that page:

"In some cases, tolling of the statute of limitations may take place. This means that the statute of limitations is temporarily suspended, similar to pausing a timer. This generally occurs when a person who has committed a crime attempts to go into hiding."

extempore said 7 months ago:

It says that, but it’s wrong. California has no statute of limitations on murder. This was recently demonstrated in dramatic fashion when the golden state killer was arrested for murders committed 30 years prior.

function_seven said 7 months ago:

That article is confusing. Above the entry you linked to I read this:

> California statutes of limitations are a little different and less complex. Felonies like murder and other offenses that are punishable by life imprisonment or death have no statute of limitations nor does the embezzlement of public money. If the punishment for a crime is eight years or more in prison, the statute of limitations runs out in six years, and other offenses punishable by prison time have a statute that expires in three years.

So I suppose the limitation of 6 years is for lesser degrees of murder? But more severe murder charges (that could result in a life sentence or worse) carry no limitation?

The Golden State Killer is one example where crimes committed over 30 years ago are still fair game for prosecution (and he never went into hiding nor did he leave the state, so no tolling)