Found A Familiar Face In The News

Posted by  $  allosaur 2 months, 2 weeks ago to News
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For 21 years, Me Officer Dino counted this inmate during counts, push button buzzed open doors as he left and returned to this or that cell block, patted him down coming out of the chow hall, made sure he swallowed whatever the nurse gave him during pill calls, watched him eat, watched him sleep, watched him sweep, watched him mop, watched him watch TV, even watched him take showers and watched him on the yard from this or that guard tower. Have a fuzzy recollection of mentioning his name in an incident report during the Eighties when the place was rough and tumble.
A photo of the front of the prison where I worked and he lived is located at the bottom of the article.
SOURCE URL: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7407771/Alabama-man-released-prison-36-years-stealing-50.html?ico=pushly-notifcation-small


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  • Posted by  $  IAMGROOT 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Wow! That dude got screwed. He was 18 and headed down the wrong path, but he could have been helped at that point in time. Locking him up forever...terrible. Glad he's finally out.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Me too. He never gave me dino any trouble I can recall. Think maybe he once got mixed up in some minor something I'd otherwise more clearly recall.
      He was sent from the cell blocks to the dorms where the less troublesome inmates were "warehoused" among rows of "racks" (what we called their bunks there).
      Inmates also called the Alabama felony "three strikes your out" law "the bitch law."
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 2 months, 1 week ago
        Poor guy.

        How does his disproportionately strong punishment compare with those sentences the court hands out to murderers, in the name of Sanctuary Laws, in San Francisco?

        Dino, is the facility you worked the one on the photo? Impressive building.
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        • Posted by  $  2 months, 1 week ago
          That's it. It's named after a late Officer William Donaldson. It was originally named the West Jefferson Correctional Facility due to it being in Jefferson County where Birmingham is.
          Donaldson was among those who relieved the officers I happened to be with that day in an Administrative Segregation Unit where really bad boys are housed,
          Donaldson did not leave that post alive. He was escorting a nurse performing pill call from cell to cell when an inmate tossed coffee on the nurse.
          Donaldson and whoever was operating doors in the cubicle became so angry they forgot the dang rules. Donaldson should have had at least one officer wit him when that cell door was opened. Donaldson charged in baton in hand.
          The inmate was waiting with a shank and stabbed him in the heart. Because the prison is a half hour out in the boonies from Bessemer a rescue chopper was sent for but it was already too late. Learned the murderer was already a cop killer. This was before the future Donaldson prison picked up a third of death row. So why that inmate was not on death row down at a prison in south Alabama I have no idea.
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          • Posted by  $  exceller 2 months, 1 week ago
            Thank you for the history.

            It is good to know that the facility was named after him.

            It could have been that the attacker would have been elevated to hero status as it is the SOP these days.

            What happened to the murderer?
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            • Posted by  $  2 months, 1 week ago
              I knew he was sentenced to death and transferred to Holman Prison to be executed but no one told me that inmate hanged himself. I worked at Donaldson until 2003 but word never got to me about that. I looked him up for wondering if he had ever been executed. For appealing, an inmate can last as long 30 or 40 years on death row. Built much later than old Holman, the third of Death Row housed at Donaldson has cells designed to lend no way for an inmate to hang himself. All executions take place at Holman.
              https://www.al.com/spotnews/2010/01/a...
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Looking at our often screwed up legal system, I often wonder if we might be better off under the old Celtic system of Brehon law. In that system, all non-capital crimes were decided by a negotiation between the victim and the offender. Usually, in the case of property crimes, the offender was directed to compensate the victim, value for value. If the offender could not afford to repay the victim, then his relatives were held to account (enforcing family responsibility). If none could pay, then the offender was obligated to work for the victim for period of time determined to match the loss (kind of an indentured servant). Even in cases where the victim suffered injury or death, the victim and his family had the right to decide punishment, ranging from forgiveness for the crime to the death penalty. The certainty of punishment was an effective deterrent.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Allosaur. A lot of opinions here from most angles. Your opinion, being the expert here, would be quite salient. I eagerly await a sage interpretation from the Dino’s cache of wisdom.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Thanks, I'm flattered. Won't let it go to my head.
      I'll only claim expertise in what I was trained to know and gained experience at, acknowledging that some supervisors and coworkers were brighter than me way back when.
      On the other hand, some of both in a variety of forms were for really real jerks if not just plain evil.
      I can get along with anyone who has a good heart and basic common sense.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Even Ayn Rand found herself arguing both sides against the middle on issues like this (e.g. capital punishment). There is really no answer. I hate to support situational ethics, but it may be as good as we can do in a universe where effects bifurcate to infinity from a unique cause.
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
      Ayn Rand's position on capital punishment is very clear. She did not "argue both sides against the middle" on this or any other topic.

      Her position was that fallibility in legal proof of guilt precludes the death penalty because of the risk to the innocent improperly found guilty. A murderer morally deserves the death penalty, but not at the risk of the innocent falsely accused. The legal principle for what to do must be based on both the guilty and the innocent. (The Objectivist Newsletter January 1963)

      That is not situational ethics or arguing both ends against a middle.
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      • Posted by BCRinFremont 2 months, 1 week ago
        The Atlas Society must be wrong, then. See their interpretation of Ms. Rand’s position on capital punishment.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
          It's best to go to the original source and look at what Ayn Rand herself published to see what her position was. In this case the source is hard to find without having The Objectivist, and the TAS article you referred to did not (if I found the right one) reference it -- you have to know where to look. I don't know if the January 1963 article is on the web, though some excerpts can be found quoted.

          If you want to read the original The Objectivist Newsletter article I can scan it for you (it's a brief article), or The Objectivist Newsletter (1962-1965) is sold at https://estore.aynrand.org/p/210/the-... but is currently back ordered. Higher priced used copies are at amazon, with bookfinder.com better https://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac...

          The original article is longer than what I wrote above and does make a distinction between the legal process and its moral base, but not in terms of something the TAS article called "practical epistemology" (whatever that is intended to mean) . The moral base begins with consideration of the criminal himself, but also includes the affect on the innocent. The legal process could sweep up the innocent in false convictions (as it is known to do) because it does not operate with full certainty. How to formulate and implement legal processes concerns philosophy of law as a specialty, including standards of legal proof, and is not part of general philosophy.

          The TAS article went on say that the issue is "in debate in Objectivist circles", but that isn't about Ayn Rand and her definitive position, and it did not invoke anything about arguing both sides against the middle and didn't say there is no answer.
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  • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Well, its unfortunate we had to pay for all those years in prison, BUT, that said, he was a habitual offender and probably would have gone on to rob and steal again and again if he were let out. God knows how much he robbed and stole and didnt get caught. He only got caught three times.

    I have no pity for someone like that. It used to be that a person like that would be expelled from the country into some remote place like Australia and left to fend for himself. Unfortunately, the liberals would never allow that now.
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Robbed a bakery at Knife point.....Not exactly a Choirboy. That detail is not in the headline. I suspect he will now be on welfare the rest of his life....but that will at least be cheaper than jail. Three strike laws are a response to the incompetence of the authorities to control crime at an earlier stage. The citizenry gets tired of scumbags like this making their lives miserable...but from an economics and practicality viewpoint we need to find alternatives and those include getting harsher on minor offenses and send young offenders to hard work details or Youth offender boot camps rather than prison. Prison is too expensive. If this scumbag had received harsher treatment for the probably 20 misdemeanors he perpetrated before his felonies...instead of getting a slap on the wrist....he may have never committed a felony. It would also help if the welfare system didn't incentive fatherless. I lay a dollar to a doughnut the perp here has no daddy! That boys and girls is the fault of the do gooder welfare system which produces hyper masculine young hood rats that rob bakery's at knife point.
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Its up to HIM to learn how to get along in society, not US. If getting locked up twice didnt give him a clue, he wasnt going to get the message by being let out again. We dont need someone like that roaming the streets.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    If you did That for a guy that stole 50 bucks...what did you do for a guy that killed, raped, mangled or manipulated people....Or, is that what you did for all the prison population?
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Maybe the solution is to somehow deport people who cant get the message about stealing and robbing. I dont know where we can send them, but I dont want to see them roaming MY street looking to break in. Maybe they go to some remote island where they can fend for themselves. This goes for rapists, killers perps too. Let the non violent "drug offenders" go free right now, and get rid of the illegality of drugs. The war on drugs is just stupid.
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    • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Under the Alabama three times you're out for a felony count law, if your third felony was a first degree murder, the least you wold get would also be life without parole.
      Now if your third felony was stealing $50, it's supposed to be nice that you would not have to worry about death row while you rotted away in prison for the rest of your life never tasting steak, baked potatoes and fried chicken ever, ever again. Watermelon? Forget about it. Lobster? Don't make me laugh!
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        What I was getting at is does a guy that stole 50 bucks deserve that much watching? or, as I asked, did you watch everyone like that.

        OH...PS...MEMES UP!
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        • Posted by  $  Snezzy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Why does someone steal just $50? Because that's what was there. If there were $5000, he would have stolen that.

          In our local area a man tried to steal from an old lady for whom he done yard work. She trusted him because she knew him. But she didn't have any money at all that day, so he stabbed her, killing her. Robbery turned murder netted zero dollars.
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        • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          I am upset that we housed and fed him all those years. THAT was stupid.
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          • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
            Don't forget free medical treatment all paid for by the state. That includes runs to the hospital, operations, hospital stays, seeing specialists, the whole bowl of wax.
            Early on during my career I was riding unarmed in an ambulance transporting an inmate, having given my .38 to another officer following in a van. Or sometimes I was the doubly armed guy following the ambulance in the van.
            Years later on there were two officers who specialized in doing just that. Me dino was content to work at the prison, especially when I was on the back gate tower lowering those .38s in a bucket.
            On the back gate tower I had six .38s to check in and out as needed. There were a lot more weapons in the prison armory that was located down a ladder below my feet.
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        • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
          I watched 1,700+ inmates at one time or another. Posts were rotated. During my last 8 years they had me on the back gate tower a lot. One hell of responsibility there and you could lose your job so easily. A lot don't mean all the time.
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  • Posted by  $  IAMGROOT 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    His life was legally stolen from him. Very sad.
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      BS. He was a serial thief and robber, and obviously would have just continued doing the same if allowed to roam the country. You must be some sort of liberal snowflake to even think this.
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      • Posted by  $  IAMGROOT 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        @term2; seriously? You don't know me at all and neither of us knows him. Yes, he was going down a bad path, but he was still a kid at the time and I'm sure he could have gotten help/redirection. The guy was no hardened criminal. Makes me wonder how prejudiced you are in other areas if you judge someone so harshly that you don't even know.
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        • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          I don’t need to “ know him@. He did what he did. Maybe we should let the victims determine what happens to him. They were the ones whose rights were violated
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          • Posted by lrshultis 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            Then the victims should put up most of the cost of his upkeep.
            How does imprisonment teach him to love liberty and fear losing it? I have never seen that happen from taking away one's liberty.
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            • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
              Remember when Alabama made national news for cranking up chain gangs? This went on for a couple of years before some inmate filed a federal lawsuit that complained about discrimination because inmates at my state's Julia Tutwiler Prison For Women were not made to go out on chain gangs.
              Asked if he would order that, the Alabama governor at that time said, "Not on my watch."
              The end result? No more chain gangs.
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      • Posted by  $  2 months, 2 weeks ago
        He was 18 at the time. He never gave me any trouble year after year after year. You come to appreciate that due to inmates who DO cause trouble.
        A serial thief would have continued to rob other inmates. Recall chasing such a thief out of a cell block and across the east yard.
        He had a bit of a head start, but a shouting officer on a tower pointed him out to a sergeant that the thief ran straight into as he rounded another cell block.
        Then he cried with tears on his face. LOL!
        Thirty days disciplinary segregation. Isolation with a cot but only two hots. Actually, that "cot" is a concrete slab with a thin mattress on it.
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      • Posted by hattrup 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        SO you are implying the life sentence was appropriate, and he should still be incarcerated for the $50 crime of 36 years ago. At what point would your judgement consider the penalty to be cruel or unusual? Was the life sentence (without parole) adequate? Or something more severe?
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          The $50 is largely irrelevant, it's the nature of the crime that's the issue. The perpetrator of a robbery at knifepoint doesn't know how much money the victim has, and the degree of emotional trauma suffered by the victim probably has more to do with the robbery itself than with the amount stolen from him. I don't think life in prison is necessarily the answer, but the punishment for such a crime should include some form of restitution to the victim, as far as that is possible.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
            Not just the victim's trauma, which is bad enough, also the threat to his life. That plus the previous history should not be ignored with a sensationalist headline claiming he was imprisoned for so long for only $50. The restitution due to the victim is a lot more than $50 and so is the nature of the punishment.

            Out for good behavior after some period of time? Maybe, with both evidence that he can be trusted to be back in public and sufficient punishment for the sequence of accumulating crimes, but restitution is not the primary purpose of sentencing for a crime. But we can be thankful that his later better behavior at least reduced the risk to dino.
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