Robin Hood for DA

Texas District Attorney OKs robbing the rich

When John Creuzot ran for District Attorney of Dallas County he neglected to tell voters that if elected he’d be not just a prosecutor, but a legislator, judge and jury. Some were surprised when Creuzot took office in January and immediately set about making Dallas safer by emptying jail cells.

Law enforcement was not amused, but Creuzot insisted that ignoring “low level” crimes like drug possession provides more time to prosecute dangerous offenders. There’s some logic on both sides. Most agree it would be better to learn who’s buried in Oswald’s tomb than to nab gimpy granny for growing grass (medicinal, of course). In at least one aspect, though, Creuzot’s judgment seems a little twisted. Or a lot. In his words:

“Study after study shows that when we arrest, jail, and convict people for non-violent crimes committed out of necessity, we only prevent that person from gaining the stability necessary to lead a law-abiding life. Criminalizing poverty is counter-productive for our community’s health and safety. “

— John Creuzot

Based on that Sherwood Forest irrationale, Creuzot gives a pass to anyone who steals personal items valued at less than $750, “unless the evidence shows that the alleged theft was for economic gain.” In other words, theft is ok as a path to the American Dream provided the path is followed in increments of $749.

As a non-attorney, I should in fairness avoid legal terminology. Instead, I’ll opt for my big words: That, Mr. District Attorney, is STUPID!

Let’s take a moment and consider just one scenario. Jack needs a refrigerator, not to trade for drugs, but to keep his pickle loaf, spumoni and Yuingling cold. He can’t afford a fridge, so while his neighbor Jill is at work he swipes her vintage Amana. It looks to be worth about $300 bucks, and he really needs it. Jill calls the cops, and then things get low-level complicated.

  • Do the cops declare Jack innocent and arrest Jill for false testimony?
  • Jill insists that she too needs the fridge and can’t afford a new one. Now whaddya do, DA Solomon? Cut it in half?
  • Jill saw an Amana on American Pickers that Mike and Frank valued at $800 because it looked like Archie Bunker’s beer vault. Can Jack pay Jill the difference and keep the Amana, or does he leave in cuffs?
  • Does Creuzot have legal standing to propose redrafting the 8th Commandment to read, “Thou Shalt Only Steal Low-Level Stuff From People With High-Level Stuff?”

Creuzot’s resignation has been demanded by a number of law enforcement organizations. In an overnight telephone poll, however, 98 percent of petty thieves, 95 percent of illegal drug users and 50 percent of the American Pickers cast supported the District Attorney.

In Sherwood Forest, $750 US is equivalent to 577 British pounds.
The Sheriff of Nottingham still wants Robin Hood’s head.

A hefty bounty still stands.
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