You’re A Thief – Here’s Your Christmas Present [OPINION]
This week I read an article by Patrick Flanagan in The Independent concerning an employee of the Acadiana Outreach Center that made me go...WHAT?
The gist of the article is that the defendant pleaded guilty to the theft of federal hurricane money. She was sentenced to a suspended sentence of seven years hard labor along with five years probation. (This sentence means no jail time would be served.) She also had to return the stolen money and she agreed to monthly payments of $769. Over a period of time she failed to live up to her end of the agreement.
The judge in the case could have revoked probation for the defendant and sent her to jail. The judge however terminated her probation 'unsatisfactorily' which means she got no jail time and did not have to make anymore restitution payments.
According to the article in The Independent an anonymous source familiar with the 15th Judicial District Court said the judge's decision is a trend in courthouses statewide. The source explained that if the restitution amount is not that great it probably will be paid off but with larger amounts the defendant may not complete the restitution. The logic being they didn't have money and that's why they stole it.
Like I stated at the beginning....WHAT! Let's see if I got this straight. I steal a small amount I have to pay it back and probably will. But if I steal a large sum of money I don't have to pay it back and won't get any jail time. What kind of logic is that? The bigger crook takes more money, gets to keep it and is free to spend it because he or she doesn't get any jail time. This is just plain nuts!
No wonder the judicial system is in such a mess. The more you steal the more you can get away with. In the old days when you stole money you went to jail no matter what the amount was. It was called justice. What the heck is this 'trend' of letting the big crooks get off without jail time or restitution. When a thief agrees to pay $46,000 in restitution and forfeits he or she should go to jail not be given more time off for good behavior.
It's just my opinion but I don't get the logic.