December 15, 2017

"A maid stole some rings, then returned them. A jury convicted her, then paid her fine. Was that right?"

At WaPo:
[The jury] felt bad for the young woman, pregnant with her second child, and agreed that she had made a dumb, youthful mistake....

“The general sentiment was she was a victim, too,” said the jury foreman, Jeffery Memmott. “Two of the women [jurors] were crying because of how bad they felt. One lady pulled out a $20 bill, and just about everybody chipped in.” Memmott then contacted the public defender in the case, and went to the home of Sandra Mendez Ortega. He gave her the jury’s collection, which totaled $80.

“Justice had to be done,” said another juror, Janice Woolridge, explaining why the panel imposed a felony conviction. “But there’s also got be some compassion somewhere. Young people make bad decisions. We just couldn’t pile on any more.”

42 comments:

SDaly said...

Can't read the details because of the paywall, but why would the prosecutor even go through the expense of a jury trial for this. It would seem to be a case where, if she returned the rings, prosecutorial discretion would call for something other than a trial.

pdug said...

In christian circles, that's what's known as a sermon illustration (for salvation)

mockturtle said...

Face it. All women are victims.

Ray said...

I doubt the jury knew about jury nullification...

Herb Bitman said...

I also wonder about prosecutorial discretion in even going through with charges. Also question the owner of the property for pressing charges if the objects were returned. The Jury, on the other hand, did their duty as a deliberative body and did their duty as good citizens. Bravo to them!

Big Mike said...

I agree with SDaly.

campy said...

Needs a Female Pivilege tag.

traditionalguy said...

Don't Jurors just warm your heart. The intense effort they make to discover the right thing to do and do it always amazed me. We used to joke that jurors would make up silly reasons to do the right thing.

Which is why the Tort Reform movement and appointing Federal Judges who refuse to hear cases on any excuse that is BIG TIME in GOP politics is a great evil. The right to a Jury Trial is all many innocent people will ever get, and the Dems at least do respect that truth.

mockturtle said...

She didn't return the rings because she was sorry to have stolen them but only after the police interrogated her. No remorse, no conscience.

Good help is SO hard to find nowadays.

Yancey Ward said...

Well, I also can't read the details, but I think the prosecutor's decision likely rested on when did defendant return the jewelry? In other words, did the defendant turn herself in to the victim, or did she return the jewelry after she was arrested and charged?

All in all, I can agree with the jury's actions.

Fernandistein said...

Ash nazg thrakatul√Ľk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Yancey Ward said...

I see Mockturtle has the relevant information.

Amadeus 48 said...

The victims of the theft made some starchy comments about this fiasco, and the WaPoo commenters are down on them. Apparently the victims live in a million dollar house!

That's it folks. WaPoo readers think property is theft. The maid was just trying to liberate those rings.

mockturtle said...

That's it folks. WaPoo readers think property is theft. The maid was just trying to liberate those rings.

Right, Amadeus. The Robin Hood syndrome.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Face it. All women are victims.

I think this, but then I also think,

Constables:
Tell his reverence your story
Let us see if he's impressed
You were lodging there last night
You were the honest Bishop's guest.
And then, out of Christian goodness
When he learned about your plight
You maintain he made a present of this silver...
Bishop: (interrupting the Constable)
That is right.
But my friend you left so early
Surely something slipped your mind
(He presents two candlesticks to Valjean)
You forgot I gave these also
Would you leave the best behind?
So Messieurs you may release him
For this man has spoken true
I commend you for your duty
And God's blessing go with you.
[The constables leave]
But remember this, my brother
See in this some higher plan
You must use this precious silver
To become an honest man


No, she's not going to take the money she would have had to spend on the fine and buy a factory and employ otherwise impoverished women and adopt an orphan and raise her in health and love, and yet. Maybe there is sometimes a place for more mercy than a person deserves.

mockturtle said...

Mercy is to be sought from God but not expected from the justice system.

traditionalguy said...

The justice system is harsh and cruel and rigged for the rich and powerful...but then God in his great mercy created Trial by a Jury of your Peers. That is what makes America Great. It always has been. It survived through the British Colony experience and gave men courage to Declare Independence, knowing they deserved that Unalienable Right.

Don't let the bought and paid pols end it, supposedly to lower Insurance Rates. That is BS, you know.

D.D. Driver said...

$80 pales in comparison with a felony conviction following you around for the rest of your life.

Grant said...

I served on a civil jury in a similar sort of case. Two not very bright brothers had cosigned an agreement enabling their sister to gain access to funds for managing their elderly parents' affairs. The sister had done a poor job and absconded, and one of the victimized companies sued the brothers for a large (for them) sum of money. It was clear to all of us on the jury that the sister was the guilty party and that the brothers weren't sharp enough to have been complicit beyond their unwise signatures. So we convicted them with a very minor fine. The sister should have been in the dock. Hardly perfect justice, but better than burdening those two boys with a debt they could never repay because their sister was a miscreant.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Mercy is to be sought from God but not expected from the justice system.

Did the $80 come from the court or from individuals?

campy said...

The sister should have been in the dock

... but she had Female Privilege, so she skated.

Matthew Sablan said...

This is a great story.

The Drill SGT said...

Sorry folks.

She was prosecuted because she stole.
Was questioned by police.
Only returned the items because of police involvement
Felony Grand Theft
A crime that could have gotten her 20 years
Illegal immigrant.
So instead of paying her fine, why aren't we deporting this felon?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I fell asleep at the wheel when I was 19 and crashed my car into a tree. I was fine, the car was totaled, but what ate at me was how badly I could have hurt someone else had they had the dumb luck to in the path of my stupid ass who should not have tried to drive from Shoreline to Gig Harbor at 3 in the morning after hanging out at my cousin's place watching movies and giggling for far too long. I received a large ticket for reckless driving which I could not remotely afford to pay, and I scheduled a court date to ask for it to be reduced or to be allowed to make payments on it so I could keep driving and be able to get to work. Unbeknownst to me, a work acquaintance who was well respected in the community wrote a letter to the judge on my behalf asking for leniency due to my expressed remorse over the incident and my general responsibility and good character. I didn't even know about it until the court date, and, citing the letter and my otherwise clean record, the judge reduced the $500 ticket to $150 and allowed me to pay it over three months. I was so grateful for another chance and I have never ever driven in a compromised fashion since then.

Just sayin'.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

But all hardass all the time is fun too, I know.

mockturtle said...

I believe you, Pants, and I certainly believe in judicial discretion. But I think we've taken the perpetrator-as-victim defense further than we need to.

n.n said...

Due process? Proportionate sentencing? Timely allegations and investigation?

Alien concepts.

WaPo is uncharacteristically charitable.

Abort her in a public trial.

Sigivald said...

A felony conviction, and they want to be compassionate and pay her fine?

This is what nullification is for, guys.

Pretty sure that if you feel so bad that you want to pay their fine, you shouldn't make them a felon while you're doing it, eh?

Pick one: If it's bad enough to deserve a felony conviction, you shouldn't feel that bad for them. If it's not bad enough to deserve one, don't convict, even if it meets the legal standard.

That's what juries are for; not just applying the law, but being a last-ditch conscience when the law is an ass.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Pretty sure that if you feel so bad that you want to pay their fine, you shouldn't make them a felon while you're doing it, eh?

Pick one: If it's bad enough to deserve a felony conviction, you shouldn't feel that bad for them. If it's not bad enough to deserve one, don't convict, even if it meets the legal standard.

That's what juries are for; not just applying the law, but being a last-ditch conscience when the law is an ass.


I agree with this comment as well.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I believe you, Pants, and I certainly believe in judicial discretion. But I think we've taken the perpetrator-as-victim defense further than we need to.

Yes, I agree with that as well. I just understand the impulse sometimes.

Jupiter said...

I believe you, Pants, and I certainly believe in judicial discretion. But I think we've taken the perpetrator-as-victim defense further than we need to.

"Sweden: Muslim classmates gang rape 14-year-old girl in school, remain enrolled because “rapists are victims too,” says principal."

https://pamelageller.com/2017/03/muslims-gang-rape-teen.html/

mockturtle said...

"Sweden: Muslim classmates gang rape 14-year-old girl in school, remain enrolled because “rapists are victims too,” says principal."

Of course, Jupiter. While all women are victims, all Muslims are even bigger victims. There is a definite victimhood hierarchy involved here.

Grant said...

Campy said...

The sister should have been in the dock

... but she had Female Privilege, so she skated.

12/15/17, 12:20 PM

The absence of any mention of the sister during the proceedings, coupled with her obvious presence throughout the 2" binder of documents we were provided, led me to think that the judge gave explicit prior instruction that she could not be mentioned. For whatever reason.

Wilbur said...

I have no compunction for an immigrant - a guest in this country - who steals. I cannot imagine going to another country and doing this, absent some overriding factor like coercion.

Deport her and don't let the door bang her in the butt. There's too many good people in the world who'd love to live here to have put up with thieves among us.

n.n said...

There is a definite victimhood hierarchy involved here.

It's the order of political congruence ("="), or politically favorable or profitable diversity classes, which follows the almighty secular incentive.

Leland said...

The jury heard the evidence, determined she was guilty of the crime, and then did what they thought was right. Is it right? Don't know, as I didn't see the evidence and don't think fighting the paywall will help. But I like the notion. I think both the conviction and the willingness of strangers to still help her will do quite a bit to show this woman a better way to conduct her life. I think it will do more than either just acquitting her or making her pay a fine she probably couldn't afford.

But I agree that prosecutorial discretion would have saved a lot more time and money.

Fred Drinkwater said...

IIRC the original article, those rapist schoolboys were "victims too" per the principal, specifically because they were caught and judicially punished a little bit.
That's a variant on the "society made me do it" perp-excusing one does not often see.

Big Mike said...

The jury might have asked whether they had to choose between not guilty or guilty of a felony, or is there a misdemeanor they could find her guilty of.

Howard said...

Moral of the story: Clean your own fucking house

Leora said...

I don't think I would have pressed charges once the rings were returned, but I wouldn't use a cleaning service that didn't have bonded employees in my house where I leave $5,000 worth of jewelry laying around.

Freeman Hunt said...

Having a felony conviction on her record is going to be a lot more expensive than the fine.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Are they also going to pay the court costs, probation fees, etc.?