“Hello, how may I help you today?”
“One robbery, please.”
“For here or to go?”
“To go, please.”
“Okay, your total is one smack on the head, plus tax.”
Fine, so that’s not exactly how the conversation went when two would-be robbers called a local bank and informed the person on the phone that they would be stopping by in a few to pick up their order of cash.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Sgt. James Perez, Fairfield police spokesman, told the Post. “They literally called the bank and said to have the bag of money ready on the floor because they’re coming to rob the place.”
Then, true to their word, they showed up – just as police were coming to greet them.
One is a 16-year old juvenile and the other, 27, is on probation for – wait for it – robbing a bank. Prison may not have cured him of his bank-robber-itis, but it sure did teach him some manners.
[This is just an extreme example of the dire mopiness of most of our clients. An overwhelming number of clients that we here at ‘a public defender’ represent are sad souls, lost in the quagmire of a dead end life. Most aren’t very educated and very few are even street savvy. They’re just fools, for the most part, who make bad mistakes without thinking of the consequences. Drugs, alcohol and poverty play a significant role in their motivations for committing crimes. Very few of them, however, have the common courtesy to call ahead.]
So it’s time to return to one of my favorite games: judge for a day (previous installments here, here, here and here). Imagine you’re the judge who is to affix a sentence to those two simpletons. You know what I know: one is a juvenile (assume that he his record is non-existent or minimal) and the other is somewhat older and on probation for robbing a bank. Also assume that the older guy owes about 5 years on probation.
Your options are: a nolle, some form of alternative to incarceration program (see 53a-39a to 39d and other diversionary programs start here), probation for a misdemeanor, conditional discharge for a misdemeanor, probation for a felony or a CD for a felony, or just straight up time in the slammer with or without probation.
So, Judge Intrepid Reader, how would you dispense your justice?