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  1. #1
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    52-cent doughnut may cost man 30 years
    Scott A. Masters, 41, is accused of shoplifting the pastry and pushing a store worker who tried to stop him. The worker was unhurt. But with that shove, his shoplifting turned into a strong-arm robbery. Masters, who appeared in court Friday, is stunned. The prosecutor shows no signs of backing down. In fact, because Masters has a prior record, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life.

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  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Sometimes, Donuts will make people just a little bit crazy.

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Wow, tough justice. But it appears that Mr. Masters is a habitual criminal and has made a lot of bad choices in his life. It says in the article that he was taking a break from his roofing job which means that he was employed and more than likely he could afford the $.52 for the donut, that fact that he attempted to steal it instead of paying for it says a lot about his character (or lack thereof).

    -rematt
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Wow, tough justice. But it appears that Mr. Masters is a habitual criminal and has made a lot of bad choices in his life. It says in the article that he was taking a break from his roofing job which means that he was employed and more than likely he could afford the $.52 for the donut, that fact that he attempted to steal it instead of paying for it says a lot about his character (or lack thereof).

    -rematt
    Yeah, I agree. Some serious lack of character, some serious issues in the guy's life. I'd even go so far as to agree that society hasn't lost anything if he's goes to the jug.

    BUT COME ON -- possibly 30 years for a doughnut??

    Seems to me the law has to be a bit more "real life" than to sentence someone to 30 years over a simple doughnut theft. Surely there's a lot this guy's done more deserving of jail/prison time than stealing a single doughnut?

    Not wanting to get all that profound here, or to derail this thread, but -- do we really want to live under a legal system that says, "Oh, well, if he wasn't deserving of serious prison time for this offense, he probably deserves it for all the other stuff, so that makes it okay"?
    Generate more fake news.

  5. #5
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Not wanting to get all that profound here, or to derail this thread, but -- do we really want to live under a legal system that says, "Oh, well, if he wasn't deserving of serious prison time for this offense, he probably deserves it for all the other stuff, so that makes it okay"?
    There has got to be something else behind this, or it would not have gotten this far along. There's a story within the story that will hopefully come out to explain why the prosecutor wants this dude.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

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    He was high on sugar when he did the heist....

  7. #7
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    or very low-sugar. hypoglycemia causes odd actions, sometimes.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Ward
    because Masters has a prior record, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life.
    I'm sure if the doughnut was his first offense, he wouldn't be in so much trouble. He obviously has a bad track record, and this just adds to it, and THAT is why they are saying he could get up to 30 years.

  9. #9
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Seems to me the law has to be a bit more "real life" than to sentence someone to 30 years over a simple doughnut theft. Surely there's a lot this guy's done more deserving of jail/prison time than stealing a single doughnut?
    There are many states that have "habitual criminal" statutes (Missouri being one of them) that allow for (in some cases) lifetime imprisonment of criminals that are convicted of 3 or more felonies. I'm not arguing the fairness of statutes like this and actually believe that they are unfair in a lot of cases. Hopefully the courts will consider his case outside of the statute and give him a punishment that is more fitting for his crime, which in this case is not the misdemeanor theft of a donut, but strong arm robbery.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Looks like this charge, if convicted, would be his third felony, which would explain the amount of time attached to the sentence.

    "He spent most of the 1990s and a stretch from 2000 to 2004 in state prison for the felonies of torching a car to collect insurance and possessing methamphetamine ingredients."

    Apparently, if he hadn't shoved the worker, it would've been a misdemeanor.

    He's had plenty of time in jail over his lifetime to rethink his path and priorities and hasn't straightened out yet. He risked his freedom for a donut that cost 52 cents... The man has serious issues.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbowcreek
    There has got to be something else behind this, or it would not have gotten this far along. There's a story within the story that will hopefully come out to explain why the prosecutor wants this dude.
    I agree. But I've heard of cases in recent years, especially since the "three strikes and you're out" craze of the 1990s, of prosecutors getting pretty zealous and sending people up for 20-30 years, even trying for life sentences, triggered by a string of fairly minor or at least fairly harmless offenses. ("Harmless" as in nearly victimless, or at least not seriously harmful to people or property.)

    I look at the U.S. at every level of law enforcement and imprisonment and see that our country has become a world leader in putting people in jail. In many, many cities and counties nationwide, lawmen (lawpeople?? ) are trying to find ways to handle serious jail overcrowding. For example a few years ago, our county spent several millions on a new, state-of-the-art, large capacity new jail. It was designed to handle the best projections of prisoners until about 2010-2012.

    Within about a year, it was already at capacity; now it's overcrowded. I know a couple of county sheriff's department jail administrators. They're extremely frustrated at the "petty crimes" and "petty criminals" crowding the jail so that every now and then a serious bad guy slips through the cracks in the crowd. (Almost literally.)

    I just think this story about the possible 30 years is 1) overreaction by the idiots in the media when they first found out about the incident, and/or, 2) a county prosecutor compelled to make stupid statements because he's coming up for election.

    But, hey, I could be really wrong!
    Generate more fake news.

  12. #12
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Sometimes, Donuts will make people just a little bit crazy.
    I am betting your presence has corrupted many.

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    It's the colored sprinkles, they're mind-bending.

  14. #14
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Anne, what the heck is that supposed to mean?!?

    (Is there a full moon?)

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    She was making a play on words on Donut's last post. I don't think she realized that it could be offensive to those who don't know her. I deleted it.
    Michael Coley
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  16. #16
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Michael, I'm flabbergasted. I'm pretty deft with a pun but I fail to see how what Anne posted relates to "colored sprinkles" except in the crudest sense.

  17. #17
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Acutally, Rhea, what I posted was a 'private joke' ( between me an donuts and a couple of others here ) that I didn't realize it could be misread or offensive in any way. Thanks for taking it down Michael, I do see now how it could have seemed like I intended something 'else' which I actually didn't.

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Awww, I missed it - Coley cleaned out the gooey filling by the time I got here. I'm crushed, like chopped nuts, that Anne's post got creamed. To glazes with it.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Anne, Anne, Anne,

    What the heck are we going to do about your offensive posts? LOL. I'm contemplating organizing a tar and feather vigilante committee to escort you out of Dodge!!
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  20. #20
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    The title of this thread is deceptive -- nobody is threatened with 30 years for taking a donut (the implication in the headline is that this was "shoplifting," which it's not).

    "Scott A. Masters, 41, is accused of shoplifting the pastry and pushing a store worker who tried to stop him. The worker was unhurt. But with that shove, his shoplifting turned into a strong-arm robbery." (from the article)

    Probably the most crucial fact in the article is this: the store employee followed the thief into the parking lot before confronting him about the theft, and "grabbed his arm." The article continues: "That is when Masters allegedly delivered 'a backhanded punch to the chest.'"

    Of course, the defendant "said he did not lay a hand on the woman."

    As the article says, it's not about the doughnut, it's about the assault.

    Given the statements attributed to the defendant in the article, I assume that his defense will be (1) he didn't assault the employee, and (2) if he did assault the employee, it was in response to her use of unlawful and/or unreasonable force under the circumstances ("self-defense"). If the latter is the defense, then of course a crucial question would be whether a store employee is legally allowed to use physical force to detain an accused shoplifter who is first confronted outside the store.

    It's hard to imagine that this would go to trial, and it seems likely that the case will be ultimately be plea-bargained and settled for "time served."

    FYI, I was the victim of two "strongarm robberies" when I lived in Oakland in 1989. The first attacker (probably by a junkie) who jumped me and fought with me for more than a minute before finally saying, "give me your money." Until then, I thought it was just a crazy person attacking me; I immediately yielded and gave him the $6 in my pocket. I was sore and limped for a week, and if he'd been caught I would have definitely pressed charges; it wouldn't have been about the $6, it would have been about beating me. (Arguably, his biggest mistake was in "doing the crime badly," by not telling me it was a robbery until we were both battered and bruised, although it's possible he first wanted to injure me so I couldn't chase him.)

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would go even further than Mark and say that "A life of crime may cost man 30 years" would be a more accurate title. If he didn't already have two felony convictions, 30 years wouldn't even be a possible penalty.
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  22. #22
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    Anne, Anne, Anne,

    What the heck are we going to do about your offensive posts? LOL. I'm contemplating organizing a tar and feather vigilante committee to escort you out of Dodge!!
    It wouldn't be the first time, Alan. There might even be a facebook group with the goal of escorting me out of Dodge.... you might check before go-ing it alone, lol

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    then of course a crucial question would be whether a store employee is legally allowed to use physical force to detain an accused shoplifter who is first confronted outside the store.
    Allowed to use force if someone shoplifts??? I'm all for force when necessary if someone commits a crime. Too bad she didn't have a 9mm handy!! I can put up with a lot of things, but stealing a doughnut? What kind of sick, demented criminal mind makes a person stoop to such unthinkable lows?

    Of course, the "law" will probably work in the doughnut snatcher's favor and the judge will admonish that the employee who caught the person stealing the doughnut should have "talked really nice" and then if need be, tell him he is being placed on a "time out."
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  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne
    It wouldn't be the first time, Alan. There might even be a facebook group with the goal of escorting me out of Dodge.... you might check before go-ing it alone, lol
    I'm checking my tar supply now!!!
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  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Can you imagine what this fella might have to say, and how tough he'll look, when his cell mate asks him what he's in for?

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