1. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    A news article in our local paper I am trying to understand

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by lessa, Mar 10, 2009.

    This morning I was reading online and one story jumped out at me.
    A 52 year old grandmother of 3 is in court trying to not be sent to jail.
    She stole over 100 thousand dollars from accounts at the bank she worked at.
    Her lawyer says she does not deserve jail time and the government should
    pay back the money.
    She has a gambling addiction and went to the local casino.
    She went through her savings and started maxing out credit cards.
    Then she went into accounts at the bank and would take money out of those
    accounts and gamble some more.

    I think that she should be held accountable for her actions.
    This did not happen over night it went on for about a year at least.
    She knew what she was doing and planned withdrawing the money she stole.
    The casino she went to is a charity casino with the money going to help the charities around the province.

    Her lawyer says the government should pay back the money.
    She should get no jail time just counselling for her addiction.
    To me this sends the wrong message to people.
    Find a good excuse and you can get away with anything.

    Would just like some input from others.
    purely for interest sake.
    But please don't get nasty. If this does then let the PTB close it.
     
  2. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with you. I don't believe anyone is powerless over their actions' thus at some point while her bank account was being overdrawn and her cards where being maxed out, she could have gone to her family for help but she chose to steal instead. If you break a law, particularly one that's there for good reason like no stealing, then you should be prepared to face the consequences.
     
  3. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    She needs more than just counselling. She needs to undergo some time in a psychiatic clinic, because obviously her gambling isn't just a 'problem', it's an obsession that's consumed the way she lives. Makes me wonder what in the world caused that kind of bizarre behaviour... must've been alot of interweaving motivations to have pushed her to that extent.. hell, she may not have even realised what she was doing. She needs to be seriously assessed though, that's for sure, I doubt this is one of those open and shut cases...
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are so many gambling addicts who never even consider theft, at leats not in large amounts. I'm sure many are not beyond swiping the occasional twenty from a friend's wallet. This is not like a recent case in Toronto of a man who pushed to kids onto the subway tracks. He couldn't stop himself, and broke down the second he realized what he had done. There are always other ways to get money.

    Since the justice system, ideally, is as much about rehabilitating criminals as it is providing consequences, typically jail time, she should get counselling since she's not going to put her in jail for life. But she knew what she was doing, and if she had stopped to think, she probably would have come up with other ways to get money to feed her addiction.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    1. a defense lawyer's job is to get his/her client off... to accomplish this, they'll come up with all kinds of silly defenses... ever hear of 'the twinkie defense'?...

    2. of course she should have to pay for her crimes, regardless of her gambling addiction... to even think otherwise is nonsense... [except for her lawyer, that is]

    3. the government isn't going to take that line or 'reasoning' seriously... nor is any thinking person on a jury...

    addictions are never an excuse for committing crimes... if they were, no one would ever be convicted or have to pay for the harm they do to others, since everything one does wrong can be said to be an 'addiction'... addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling are the obvious ones for excusing crimes of violence... then there's addiction to sex, rape, incest, and so on, to excuse all sex crimes... and to greed, materialism, etc., to get you off for stealing... get the point?
     
  6. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Send her to jail and get her some help. Obviously get the kids out of there and into a better home environment.

    Government return the money? Hahahahahahahaha. Like anyone would go for that. If that becomes the standard the jury is the one that's screwed cause we the jury are the ones who give the government it's money XD. I've heard much better defenses. This lawyer must be pretty stupid. I could come up with a better excuse: She's an old grandma. Put her in a home since she probably won't live to fulfill her service. Deal time!
     
  7. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    Lord those are fightin words.
    old lady.
    She is 52 and a grandmother.
    I am 54 almost and a grandmother.
    She would definetly live out her sentence.
    They always say if the woman is a grandmother
    since most people think of grandma as a sweet old lady,
    who needs to be protected.
    It is a trial with judge only.
    In Canada she would probably get 3 months in jail
    and have to pay back the money. If the judge was in
    a bad mood.
    In a good mood he would give her weekend time if she
    had a job.
    I just think that if you do the crime you have to suffer
    some sort of consequence.
    I know that I would never steal.
    I have to set an example to my grandchildren.
    What sort of legacy is she passing on to hers?
     
  8. Patrick Williams
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    Patrick Williams New Member

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    The addiction card is played all the time by defense attorneys. I know of a kidnapping suspect that, instead of going to prison, went to a residential drug treatment center instead. He later screwed that up and went to prison but still...

    Patrick
     
  9. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Addiction doesn't excuse crimes. I know a drug addict who set a church on fire while high. Should he have gotten away scott free because his addiction made him do it? No. He chose to do the drugs and chose his actions. This woman made the conscious choice to steal this money to go gambling. Part of recovery from any addiction is making amends for your actions. She needs to go to jail and pay back the money she stole with a big apology attached. If she is coddled, her addiction will never clear up. People often have to hit rock bottom.
     
  10. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ugh, people trying to pass off stupid crap they do on being "addicted" to something irritates me soooo much. She chose not only to start gambling her life away, but also to do something illegal to continue fueling her gambling. You shouldn't get to pick a different consequence for your actions if you don't like the first one...
     
  11. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    No one seems to view responsibility as a two way street. I feel sorry for this woman, she's destroyed her life but did anyone seek an intervention to help her out? Probably not. Obviously the argument with saying that is 'well, the woman should have helped herself' but seriously now... how presumptious can you be.. read the description of the woman, she's a grandmother for heaven's sake.. I'm pretty sure the explanation for her dependence on gambling extends further than just greed or selfishness- there are reasons for why people develop dependency, and I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with a flaw in character.
    It's just like drug addiction.. no one cares about the addict until they do something that hurts another person (the right person I might add).. when that happens there's always this, 'let's blame the addict for their addiction' attitude, not.. 'let's help the addict with their addiction,' it's always, 'make them pay for their addiction', not 'let's help them reconsile it'. It seems all addicts are regarded as self-inflicted **** ups.. they're never considered to be as human as the people they hurt.
    I don't know.
    Maybe I'm just too forgiving?
     
  12. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I don't think that's it. I agree that people tend to ignore things they don't like till it smacks them in the face (WWII, stock market crash, failing a class). I don't think it's that we don't view responsibility as a two way street. In a matter of law and providing justice for the victims and to deter future infringements, we must decide where final responsibility lies. Society determines (and I agree) that ultimately, a human being is the on primarily responsible for their own actions. If they are the ones who commit the offense, in the end they are the ones we must punish. The rest of society might not have been the best of friends, but ultimately it is not the fault of anyone other than the grandmother that the wrong occurred. SHe controlled her own actions. Maybe others looked the other way, but she's not a robot. She could have stopped but didn't. We can't turn the other way because of insinuating circumstances; the line must be drawn somewhere. I think we've put it in the right place.
     
  13. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with everything you have said.. I don't believe that she should be excused because she has an addiction. She should suffer the consequences in which the law has set for those whom have commited similar offences.. we'd only be enabling addicts if they were to go without punishment.. all I'm saying is that she needs to be helped, so she can be rehabilitated and perhaps become a normal, functioning member of society again.

    Sorry if I wasn't very clear.
     
  14. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, her family should have realized that there was a problem and tried to help her. However, how many gambling addicts out there are stealing thousands of dollars? She could have sold things, borrowed money.

    At the same time, when it comes to addiction, you could have all the family support in the world trying to help you overcome your addiction. Until you are ready, you are not going to get much out of that help. When I learned about addiction in school, we watched a documentary about several drug addicts who regularly had social workers or family members talking to them, offering help, giving them a place to go for rehab. In the end, most of them did recover, but on their own time, not when the social workers or their mother wanted to take them to the rehab centre. Although you don't get the same physical dependency with other addictions that you do with some drugs, it effects the brain in the same way.
     
  15. apathykills
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    apathykills Contributing Member

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    Because they are. No one makes you try your first drug/beer/cigarette/cake/poker-game/whatever.

    You make a choice about what it is you want to be addicted to and you choose to what degree you are willing to go to feed that addiction.

    We are all addicted to something, i for instance am addicted to coffee, but i won't steal to fund my coffee habit, or kill for it. I'm also addicted to food, but i keep myself from eating too much
    .
    She could have gambled at low stake games, she could have moderated her self, she could have chosen to do a thousand and one things to continue and fund her addiction. She choose to steal, that's were she stopped being a grandmother/addict/whatever and became a criminal.

    The problem is America uses the jury system and they usually vote from sympathy and not from a legal perspective, making frivolous law suits and defenses of this type highly effective.
     
  16. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    I have been to the casino a few times.
    We buy $25. in tokens and spend them
    after eating our meal.
    There are signs above the slot machines and
    on the walls with numbers to call for counselling
    on addictions.
    There is help just down the street from the casino.
    Addictions are bad but there are ways out.
    When I was 18 through to 20 I was addicted to prescription meds.
    One type and the dr. just kept giving me stronger ones every time
    I went to him.
    I went cold turkey and now am very careful about taking pills of
    any sort. Still in pain but I won't get into that situation again.
    If you want to change you can.
    It won't be easy but it is possible with help or without it.
     
  17. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    Hey, let's not rush to judge here, chaps. How is what she did incredibly different to most of Wall Street, AIG included? The main difference is that she gambled the money in casinos, instead of sub-prime mortgages.

    None of those guys are going to jail, and the government is paying back all of that money.
     
  18. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That isn't theft in the same way. People choose to give these companies money.
     
  19. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Shock therapy once every quarter should do her the trick.

    I play poker at the casino and used to watch people play the pokies. I hated them because im a poker player. I believe in making my luck, not trusting a machine for luck.... When you see people put ion $100 and get it to $10,000 and they lose it all.. you know there is something wrong with these people. Gambling is most certainy a real addiction. Its like msoking, but it exists, its not BS with these things.

    Government pay it back.... good F88king lordy! thats funny.

    Jail time. How about force her to get some job that takes up most of her week, pays buggerall and have all that wage go into paying those people back over time. Jail time, meh.
     
  20. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, enemies. And maybe a free room in Jail on the behalf of tax payers.
     

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