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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fifteen years for looting

From AP:
Three people convicted of hauling away liquor, wine and beer from a grocery store after Hurricane Katrina were each sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison.

The judge said he wanted to send a message that looting would not be tolerated when he gave the maximum sentence to Coralnelle Little, 36, Rhonda McGowen, 42, and Paul C. Pearson, 36, all of Kenner.
Send a message? A message? By locking three people up for maybe half of their remaining lives for a piddling little crime during a crisis? What is it about looting that pisses the wingnuts off so much, more than bribery or fraud or, you know, starting a pre-emptive war based on lies? Nobody is dead or missing limbs or even traumatized--just a store owner out a couple of hundred bucks. Lock 'em up for three months and make them pay it back. But FIFTEEN YEARS???

While most online sources use exactly the same AP article, Black Entertainment Television wrote its own report. They called the judge "no-nonsense." Maybe he didn't wear a funny hat or play the kazoo in court, but 15 years for looting is as about as non-sensical as it gets.