A free thinker in the Heartland...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Crime and Punishment

There is a great article in South Bend Tribune about how differently criminals can be treated in different counties... even neighboring ones in Indiana.

My word of advice... if you are going to break the law - don't do it in Wabash County.

Here is part of the article:

Adrian Prado likely felt unlucky on Nov. 23, 2003, the day he jumped into a car in a South Bend parking lot and sold his acquaintance some methamphetamine.

Unlucky because it turned out his customer was wearing a wire for the police, who happened to be nearby videotaping the transaction.

Prado ultimately pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine, a Class B felony worth up to 20 years in prison under state law.

But things might have been worse for the 20-year-old had he committed his crime in Elkhart County, as Danny Heerschop did.

After the police in Goshen caught 35-year-old Heerschop selling methamphetamine, he, too, pleaded guilty.

It was the first felony conviction for both men, but they were treated very differently in court.

St. Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese sentenced Prado to 10 years in prison but suspended eight of those and allowed him to serve the two "executed" years on home detention rather than in prison.

Prado has since allegedly violated terms of the program and has been arrested. He is due back in court Dec. 1, according to court records, and could be forced to serve the full 10-year prison sentence.

In contrast, Heerschop is sitting in a prison cell. Elkhart Circuit Judge Terry Shewmaker handed him a 15-year sentence at the Miami Correctional Facility. His earliest possible release date is in 2012.

Sorry to break up the blockquote, but the little add on I got to condense large posts has a problem with blockquoting, so I have to break up large quotes to get my posts to condense.