Hungry homeless man sentenced to 10 months for stealing hot dog

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by kazenatsu, Mar 3, 2024.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The only information I was able to find about this was the video.


    link to video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewBO6TonnrI
    "Judge Boyd Sends Man To Prison Over A Hot Dog..Sort of." posted by Creedence and Mikey

    It looks like an old homeless man was sentenced to 10 months in prison for stealing a hot dog at a Walmart store in Texas. (hot dog referring to cheap food item)
    But the man did apparently have a long past criminal record.

    The man was white and appears to be between 60 and 70 years old.
    The judge was a black female. The judge appears to be talking in a calm and competent manner, making it seem that this is just how justice works in that area, prison sentences for smaller crimes can be harsh.

    Judge: "Did you understand you're charged with the offense of theft under 2500 dollars enhanced. That's a state jail felony. The range of punishment is anywhere from 180 days up to two years in the state jail facility and up to a 10,000 dollar fine."

    Defense attorney: "Your honor my client had accepted previously, um, the same case, and went to state jail facility for six months, um, negotiating with the state we got agreement to ask you to do a cap of 12, where you would decide 6 months to 12 months. Uh, he knows that he had a 12-44a in the past - he's done six months.
    (a 12.44 is where a state jail felony can punished as a Class A misdemeanor if a judge believes there should be less punishment)
    Uh he's homeless - he phrases it as chronic homeless. He has no family here. He was staying at Haven for Hope before this happened. He got hungry. He had an altercation - an incident where he left Haven for Hope. He didn't want to cause a scene. He didn't want to retaliate back. He left. Didn't have money. Got a hot dog at Walmart.
    And he was asking for 10 months. And we're asking something lower than 12."

    Judge: "All right, so why does he keep -- I mean I understand, I read the report and I understand that you're stealing food. Aright? (She shrugs) and I'm sympathetic and empathetic to the fact that you're homeless, and you're hungry. But I know in San Antonio there are places where the food is free. It may not be what you want, but it's free so I don't understand... and I looked at your criminal history... so...your criminal history is extensive and... So why should I give him less than the year? That's what I'm trying to understand."

    It sounds like the defendant's name is "Brian Edward Dotright" or "Boatwright" (or that's what it sounds like from the video). He admitted to having alcohol problems.
    The judge is Stephanie R. Boyd, in San Antonio.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
  2. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    free bed and food for 10 months.... will give him a chance to sober up and try again when released

    at his age, should be almost ready to retire and get assisted living

    that said, I would look at the judge's history to make sure she is sentencing people equally and no racism in her sentencing going on
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
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  3. Diablo

    Diablo Well-Known Member

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    Sad, so sad.:ashamed:
     
  4. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A state jail in Texas is a very unpleasant place to be for 10 months, even for a homeless person.
     
  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I immediately had this suspicion too, and that could be a factor (black woman less likely to have mercy on a white man because black people have suffered so much in the criminal justice system and now the tables are turned). But I suspect punishment in a case like this would have been harsh even if the judge were a white male, since justice in Texas is pretty harsh and punitive. I'm thinking a white judge still would have been likely to sentence him to at least 6 months.

    If you listen to the way the defense attorney is talking, it sounds like a 12 month sentence is easily within the confines of the law for this situation, though they were hoping for 6 to 10 months and thought that would be more reasonable.

    Nevertheless, it does seem extremely harsh for stealing a hot dog, which at Walmart I have to imagine only costs somewhere between 1 to 2 dollars. (edit: I think it costs $1.50 )
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
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  6. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    sounds like not jail this time, is prison
     
  7. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    But the man did apparently have a long criminal record.... Well there you go. I don't know what the law is now but it used to be that your third petty theft charge in Florida was a third degree felony.

    I had a guy walk in the store at 5:30 a.m. the other day helps himself to a large tea which is exactly $2 and then he walks out without saying a word as though he had paid for it. I had a trusted customer watch the store while I went out after him.

    He ignored me and kept walking until I got louder and closer. I told him you have to pay for that and he said that he didn't have any money and that he was thirsty. Told me his first and last name and told me to call the police.

    So that's exactly what I did but not before taking the tea from his hands. I told him if he would have asked me I would have bought this for you and not to bring your ass back in our store.

    Everybody says you shouldn't have took the tea from him, and that's exactly why people do things like this. Because no one does a damn thing about it. When a child takes things from another child what do you do?

    Used to be when you shop liquid from a store you acted like you were doing something wrong and tried to conceal the item with no one looking.

    Now people do it right in front of you like they have a license. Call it a hunch but I went to the county jail inmate search and looked up his name under released inmates and lo and behold by the time the police got there I had his mugshot and told them this is the guy you're looking for and that's the direction he went walking....

    They asked me what did we want to do about it? What the hell do you mean what do we want to do about it? We want you to do your job.

    But ultimately I told them that at the very least we want him trespassed from the store. Seems like it would be a waste of taxpayer resources to prosecute the guy over a $2 drink. By the time he got to court he will probably be released on time served anyway.

    But this is the world we live in where the soft on crime approach is taking us. Thank you Democrats you have created a much safer world for us.

    Now people steal like they have a license because the people you elect basically gave them one.

    And we still don't have the trespass warning for the guy. I'm thinking about going to the police department myself and asking where the trespass warning is since you have this guy's photograph and first and last name and address.
    About mid-twenties and perfectly able-bodied and no reason he can't take his ass to work like the rest of us
    Screenshot_20240221-222635.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
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  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's probably a lower security facility but a less pleasant place with worse and fewer amenities than a prison.

    Jails are usually worse than prisons because the inmates do not stay there as long. Jails are usually cheaper for the state to operate than prisons as well.

    The medical care in state jails is almost non-existent.

    If you wish to have a discussion about the conditions in Texas state jail facilities (which I imagine is not good), it's probably best to start a separate thread.

    But you can imagine things have to be pretty bad in those jails, otherwise lots of homeless persons would be going there.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
  9. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    Naturally this was the state of Texas where they still think breaking the law actually means something.

    And I bet you just like the guy that come in our store and helped himself to whatever he wanted.... The city is probably full of food banks and churches that will give you food if you are hungry.

    But when you spend all of your money on drugs and all of your time chasing after them.... Who has time to go stand in line for free food?
     
  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It sounds like there was some altercation with another person at the homeless shelter the man was staying at, and the man wanted to distance himself from that for fear that it would escalate, possibly resulting in him getting into legal trouble for assault. So he felt he had to go away from the homeless shelter. But when you're homeless with no money and no car, it's easy to travel around. Sounds like he was loitering around an area and got hungry. Probably the homeless shelter that provided food seemed too far away. Often homeless shelters are located in the heart of downtown city areas and it can be hard for a homeless person to find a spot that they are able to sleep nearby, if they are not actually staying inside the shelter.
     
  11. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I guarantee you he wouldn't have had to ask more than three people in that store..... Hey look man I'm hungry could you buy this food item for me?

    People including myself, are much more prone to actually buy food than to just hand them cash
     
  12. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think that depends on the area. You seem to have a good heart, but I think that may also be blinding you to the harsh realities of the world.
    What you are imagining would be a lot less likely to happen in a place like NYC.
     
  13. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I might have compassion but the world has taught me a thing or two..... I won't give them cash and I wouldn't buy them food more than once. More than once forms a pattern and if you're really hungry you'll take the food. If they want cash you know there's a very good chance of going towards alcohol or drugs instead
     

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