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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Son’s fatal overdose consumes ex-pitcher

The story behind Jeff Reardon’s bizarre robbery incident

rdfc Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:10 PM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. CraigK Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#1832711)
That does explain a lot.

My condolences to the family.
   2. Squash Posted: January 22, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#1832748)
What a terrible, horrible thing. I can't even imagine living through that.
   3. Sam M. Posted: January 22, 2006 at 08:33 PM (#1832845)
It's a heartache.
Nothing but a heartache.


Until Reardon finds a way to reach out to others and let them help him, I fear he's never going to find his way through the grief. Rare is the person who has inside of himself all the strength he needs for something like this.
   4. MM1f Posted: January 22, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#1832873)
"Shane flew below the radar. He was creative, intelligent, tenderhearted. He loved writing and music. He was different — and he ran with a different crowd. Shane's friends had a more jagged edge than the jocks. Some were into alcohol, others were into drugs."

So the writer is implying that "jocks" arent into that stuff? Bull
   5. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 22, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#1832951)
This piece should be required reading for all teenagers.

I suppose the proper legal course would be a short parole and mental health counseling.
   6. Jimmy P Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#1833024)
So the writer is implying that "jocks" arent into that stuff? Bull


No fake. THe jocks at my school were into that more than just about anyone else.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:28 PM (#1833041)
I'm no bleeding heart, but I also can't be too harsh, either, on someone who cracks under this circumstance. You grow up wanting to be a big league player, you make it, you have tons of money, and you start to feel as if you're destined to avoid the heartaches that 'regular people' feel.
Then you take a shot to the gut that few people ever experience.

I'm not gonna kick this guy while he's down.
   8. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 22, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#1833064)
I suppose the proper legal course would be a short parole and mental health counseling.

Sure, after 3-5 years in prison (with the possibility of early release with good behavior) or whatever the typical sentence in the state is for his crime.

I feel tremendous sympathy for the man and his family, but what he did (armed robbery) is a very serious crime. The fact that no one (including Reardon) wound up getting hurt or killed does not absolve the man of responsibility, nor does the tragic circumstances that preceeded his downward spiral. Everything that that I've read about this case (including Reardon's own writings) indicate that he was deeply depressed, but not psychotic. In other words, he doesn't have a tenable claim to a mental defect. Those mitigating circumstances should play a role in reducing, but not eliminating, his sentence--but I don't see how even the most compassionate judge could sentence him to no jail time. If he were not a celebrity, I suspect that there would be no question that he would face a prison sentence.
   9. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:01 PM (#1833080)
just... wow.

the good news for him is that it's likely he'll avoid significant jailtime.
   10. Schtoopo Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:08 PM (#1833088)
"In other words, he doesn't have a tenable claim to a mental defect."

Did you read the article? It sounds like he was off his rocker when he robbed the place.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#1833097)
Well, I'm not necessarily advocating that he avoids a prison sentence, either. Being famous doesn't give you a free pass.
I'd just hope that all concerned can figure out a way back for this guy, at some point.
   12. rdfc Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:22 PM (#1833099)
Kruk - It's a fairly unique set of circumstances, in that it's going to be hard to find another case in which an armed robber immediately went to the closest security guard and gave up. In such a case, I think it's reasonable that a prosecutor would offer a lesser charge. It probably helps in this case that he's a celebrity (money helps in all cases; I think celebrity tends to magnify the circumstances, both good and bad), but I would like to think that an average citizen in the exact same circumstances would also get to plea to a lesser charge.
   13. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:23 PM (#1833102)
Did you read the article?

Obviously not, as he thinks Reardon committed armed robbery. Or maybe the article failed to mention that the note was loaded....

Also, he was deeply depressed before adding 3 heart medications to the mix. He's overlooking the possibility that a quite recent drug interaction prompted his behavior.
   14. Sam M. Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#1833146)
I am willing to go out on a limb and say there is not a jurisdiction in America, not a single prosecutor, nor a single judge, who would sentence a person to jail under all these circumstances:

1) There was no actual weapon;
2) He turned himself in almost immediately;
3) He has suffered the most awful lost and his mental state has obviously been massively affected by it;
4) He was on substantial medication;
5) It was a first offense.

It has nothing to do with Jeff Reardon being famous. It has to do with the notion of compassion. Probation, with conditions? No doubt. Jail? To paraphrase Dickens, only if the law is an ass.
   15. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 22, 2006 at 11:57 PM (#1833159)
Obviously not, as he thinks Reardon committed armed robbery. Or maybe the article failed to mention that the note was loaded....

He stated on his note that he had a gun and implied that people would be hurt unless they complied with his demands. In any state, that's considered armed robbery.
   16. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:05 AM (#1833173)
The fact that some fairly intelligent people here think that Reardon deserves *NO* jail time for armed robbery only underscores the continued need for mandatory minimums.

Also, it strike me as interesting that some of the same people have in the past decried the racial bias of the judicial system believe that the rules should be rewritten when it's a rich and famous middle-age white man who commits the crime.
   17. Sandlapper Spike Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#1833186)
If you sentence him to jail you're essentially writing his death warrant.
   18. kthejoker Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#1833194)
Justice should always be meted out on a case-by-case basis.

Having prior judgments to reflect upon may strengthen future results, but mandatory minimums is a very disingenuous method of extracting any real justice from a situation. At the very least, mandatory minimums potentially waste system resources like jails on people like Reardon - society will see no benefit from his incarceration. And yes, if a 24 year old black man had shared Reardon's life experiences and then done the exact same thing, he should be afforded the same sense of justice.
   19. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:58 AM (#1833287)
The fact that some fairly intelligent people here think that Reardon deserves *NO* jail time for armed robbery only underscores the continued need for mandatory minimums.

Or the benefits of RTFA. I hope few prosecutors would push for a charge requiring jail time here.
   20. Flynn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:08 AM (#1833310)
Also, it strike me as interesting that some of the same people have in the past decried the racial bias of the judicial system believe that the rules should be rewritten when it's a rich and famous middle-age white man who commits the crime.

Nice job playing the race card.

And yes, if there's a black man in the same situation, I do think prosecutors wouldn't throw the book at him.
   21. DTS Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#1833312)
I feel badly for Jeff. I bet the prosecutor/judge will go easy on him.

I always find the whole "wrong crowd" thing interesting, though. I mean, maybe Shane was the wrong crowd.
   22. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:23 AM (#1833333)
JohnKruk - his nut,

I'm about as big an advocate for the law & order crowd as you'll come across, but given the magnitude of the mitigating circumstances in this case I don't think jailtime is warranted.

If he had taken the money and left, I would say yes for jail time. If he had grabbed an actual gun in his stupor, I would say jail time. If he wouldn't have turned himself in, jail time. But there are too many things compounding one another to treat the man like an ordinary criminal.

On another note, I live within eyeshot of the Gardens Mall. Hooray for hometown celebrities.
   23. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#1833340)
Nice job playing the race card.

It's not "playing the race card," it's a matter of consistent application of the law.

There's a spectrum of punishments for armed robbery (something approximately like 3-15 years, it varies by state). I absolutely agree that Reardon's situation demands that he serve the minimum (or close to it). Yet he should serve some of that time and, if he demonstrates exceptional behavior while incarcerated, should absolutely be considered for early parole.
   24. Sam M. Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#1833348)
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:


Mandatory minimums? All they do is shift discretion from judges to prosecutors, who can massively influence what minimum defendants face by their charging decisions. In this case, where no weapon was used, the DA could easily justify either not charging armed robbery, or even more easily justify a plea out of it, to a charge permitting probation.

No one is talking about rewriting the rules. We're talking about applying the rules with recognition of the fact that law doesn't operate in a vacuum. It operates in response to real people and real circumstances, and it fails miserably if it pretends otherwise.
   25. mgl Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#1833355)
If you're heart does not go out for this guy and his family, you have a cold one indeed. I cried when I read the article. I doubt that he gets any jail time, and there is no doubt in my mind that he does not deserve any. I think that Kruk is missing a piece of his heart rather than his nut...
   26. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 23, 2006 at 01:41 AM (#1833365)
The fact that some fairly intelligent people here think that Reardon deserves *NO* jail time for armed robbery only underscores the continued need for mandatory minimums.

The fact that you would even attempt to make that argument doesn't reflect very well on you.

Reardon was not armed.

He was under the influence of a variety of (I assume) prescribed drugs.

He was severely depressed, probably what one would call mentally ill.

Your labelling of this as "armed robbery" is ludicrous. The reasonable response for the court would be to make sure that his mental illness and drug problem is dealt with so that he doesn't do something like this, or worse, again. It may make sense to mandate in-patient psychiatric treatment, but if this article reasonably described what happened, there is no reasonable way he deserves real jail time, which would serve no purpose whatsoever.
   27. Zach Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#1833398)
This is a case where I think mandatory psychiatric care would make a lot of sense. It sounds a lot like (prescribed) drugs, depression and disease combined in a way that Reardon ended up committing a very serious crime without an accompanying criminal desire, if you know what I mean. I'm sure there's some legal term for it.

I can't really see what actions would be punished or deterred with a prison sentence, mainly because I can't imagine Reardon comitting this crime while in a normal state of mind, or weighing punishment in the state of mind he was in. On the other hand, I can easily believe that Reardon was a threat to himself and others around him in that state of mind and should be required to take treatment for it, involuntarily if necessary.
   28. Sam M. Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:08 AM (#1833406)
Your labelling of this as "armed robbery" is ludicrous.

I wouldn't go that far. Here is the definition of armed robbery, for example, under the Kentucky criminal code:

Sec. 515.020

(1) A person is guilty of robbery in the first degree when, in the course of committing theft, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person with intent to accomplish the theft and when he:

(a) Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or

(b) Is armed with a deadly weapon; or

(c) Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument upon any person who is not a participant in the crime.

I have little doubt that, technically, Reardon's actions as reported could factually meet the statutory definition. The real issue, IMO, is whether there is sufficient reason to bring the most extreme charges that could theoretically be supported by the facts. There is only one reason: to avoid setting a dangerous precedent.

Given the extreme and probably unique combination of facts that coalesce here, I don't think we need worry about setting any sort of precedent.
   29. Zach Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#1833419)
On a more abstract level, I think if you're going to be a strict law'n'order type, then you have to have an accurate model of how and why crimes are committed, or you're in danger of writing and enforcing the wrong laws. In this case, I think if you act as though Reardon were a man in control of himself and possessing unconstrained free will, you're completely missing the causes and circumstances of why the crime was committed at all.

I believe the point where I disagree with Kruk is that he sees this as an objective crime (armed robbery) and a plea for a punishment different than others would receive for the same crime. Working from the article, I see the crime as being more ambiguous and I think that anybody who could prove the same set of circumstances would qualify for the same punishment I think is reasonable in this case.
   30. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:27 AM (#1833433)
MGL, you can have sympathy for someone without turning a blind eye to the fact that they committed a serious crime. As an aside, it's possible to make a cogent arugment without resorting to any sort of personal insult. The purpose of the criminal justice system is two-fold: protect the public and rehabilitate/punish the criminal. While I agree that a jail sentence does little to accomplish a whole lot toward the latter, it does seem necessary for the former. Reardon has demonstrated that he's a threat to society. Until he proves that is no longer the case (namely by behaving himself for 18 months or whatever in prison), then I don't want the guy on the street.
   31. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#1833442)
Reardon has demonstrated that he's a threat to society.

I think the dispute here comes from this statement. It seems that almost every poster here thinks Reardon is not by any means a geniune threat to soceity. It seems that so long as his medication is probably controlled, the chance of recidivism is virtually nil. The idea that Reardon will commit armed robbery (or any other crime) in the next 18 months if he's out of prison seems, frankly, laughable
   32. Shiny Beast Posted: January 23, 2006 at 02:37 AM (#1833454)
I always find the whole "wrong crowd" thing interesting, though. I mean, maybe Shane was the wrong crowd.


I believe thinking this is of some comfort to those closest to him, and I can understand that. But, I think you are right.

Someone with serious enough problems with drugs/alcohol to be sent away for treatment is way beyond being influenced by his peers. If he was really ready to face the world when he came out of treatment, it wouldn't have mattered at all who he was hanging around with or rooming with. He would have been okay.

But he wasn't, sadly. I'm not saying this against Reardon, either. In fact, I think he should quit beating himself up thinking about how he allowed his son to room with his old friend, who had been trouble in the past (as Reardon knew.) From what was said in the article, I can't see how the roomate thing was any factor, other than he failed to call 911. But if anyone should be beating himself up for that, it's the roomate, not the dad.

I'm never retiring, even when I can afford to. I decided this long ago. Some people can't wait to quit working, and they have tons of things to do, and there's not enough time in the day, they're so busy. But some people sink immediately into depression once they are no longer compelled to get up every day and go report to a job. I'm one of those, I'm sure.

And whatever one's makeup, the worst thing when one is fighting depression is having nothing to do. As one of Reardon's friends said, sitting around dwelling on his loss just multiplied his problems.

I probably made some flippant remarks about Reardon when this first came out, especially the part about it being the fault of the drugs. But as almost always happens when I make flippant remarks, I have lived to regret them.

I sure hope this guy can salvage something.

(Does anyone remember the story about Reardon, I think when he was with Montreal? I've probably got some of it wrong, but the gist of it I think I remember pretty well.

The Expos were playing at home, right after a rough week where Reardon had blown a couple of saves and cost the team some games. During the game, the team wanted to recognize Reardon's wife, who had done a lot of volunteer work for some local causes; so they made an announcement about it over the PA, and when Mrs. Reardon stood up to receive applause, instead some of the crowd booed her, presumably for her husband's blown saves.

Kind of crude, but hardly unheard of. But I remember at the time thinking Reardon was really bothered by it, maybe more than most people would have been. Fans will be fans, after all. He wouldn't let it go, though.)
   33. scotto Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:02 AM (#1833493)
Someone with serious enough problems with drugs/alcohol to be sent away for treatment is way beyond being influenced by his peers. If he was really ready to face the world when he came out of treatment, it wouldn't have mattered at all who he was hanging around with or rooming with. He would have been okay.

Sorry, but this is about as incorrect as a statement can be. Those in recovery can see some of their old party friends, but need to maintain whatever sobriety regime they've been in to avoid relapse. Dropping a sobriety regime and hanging out with partiers - especially those you used to party with - and giving yourself ample access to drugs and alcohol is pretty much the optimum way to relapse.
   34. Flynn Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#1833510)
MGL, you can have sympathy for someone without turning a blind eye to the fact that they committed a serious crime. As an aside, it's possible to make a cogent arugment without resorting to any sort of personal insult. The purpose of the criminal justice system is two-fold: protect the public and rehabilitate/punish the criminal. While I agree that a jail sentence does little to accomplish a whole lot toward the latter, it does seem necessary for the former. Reardon has demonstrated that he's a threat to society. Until he proves that is no longer the case (namely by behaving himself for 18 months or whatever in prison), then I don't want the guy on the street.

This is begging out for a Randal post.
   35. DTS Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#1833514)
I believe thinking this is of some comfort to those closest to him, and I can understand that.

Oh absolutely -- it's just a thought that's been bounding around in my brain for a long time and I finally found a forum for it.


Too bad Shane didn't read A Million Little Pieces -- that surely would have saved him.
   36. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#1833518)
Quite a few posts on this thread exemplify the personal sniping that comes out everytime a discussion gets in the least way political.

6-4-3 makes a couple of moral and legal arguments - the legal one, btw, he is correct in (the act falls under armed robbery) - and he gets accusations about his personal morality, "heart," or otherwise just insulted in return?

That's bullshit.

I agree with 6-4-3 that I don't want the man unsupervised among the innocent either. But I think probation and counseling, perhaps with a brief stay at a mental health facility, can take care of that far better than imprisonment would.

And I respect that 6-4-3 decided to respond with actual arguments, when he could have gone ###-for-tat and said something like "Andere, MGL, and their ilk are a bunch of pantywaists who are soft on crime, and I think they're idiots for it."

Would you guys have appreciated that response? Probably not.
   37. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:55 AM (#1833576)
Clearly, Reardon deserves much sympathy. As an educator, I have had to deal with grieving parents on more than one occasion, and it is, I think, the most painful experience an individual can have.

That said, I don't think it is wise to make statements about whether Reardon does or does not deserve jail time based on a sympathetic human interest story in a newspaper. IMO, one would need more detailed information about Reardon and his situation to make such a determination. Given the initial reaction to this story from many before we knew about his son's death, it would seem prudent to withhold judgment now as well.

Additionally, cold though it might sound, it is not like Reardon, in his semi-capacitated state, did something that had victimless intent, like going on a roof and talking about about taking his own life, or even did something directly related, like showing up at a crack house to go after pushers. Instead, he threatened an employee of a store with physical harm in order to commit a robbery. This would be something to look into. It likely was a "cry for help" but it is certainly an odd one.

I doubt jail time would help him and I doubt he will get it, particularly since he has no firearm. But I don't think I could say, based on this article, that I am confident as to what the legal system should do.
   38. rr Posted: January 23, 2006 at 03:57 AM (#1833580)
had no
   39. Booklegger Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#1833658)
Any Lawyer worth his salt will get Reardon off with no jail time. If his attorneys advise him to take it to the jury, there is a very serious chance of his being found innocent by the jury. The typical standard is "could he tell right from wrong?" Given his later behavior, a fairly cogent argument can be made that he didn't, and it seems likely that a real "dog and pony" show would be put on by defense council. Any prosecutor has to weigh the merits of a sucessful conviction against the effort they have to put out to get it.

While I find your moral argument that he needs to go through the system like anyone else absolutly correct, I think you haven't considered the prosecutor's likely tactics. He'll probably take a plea in return for a suspended sentence and some other fluffery, and it'll be a good deal for both Reardon and the State.
   40. covelli chris p Posted: January 23, 2006 at 05:14 AM (#1833703)
that he needs to go through the system like anyone else absolutly correct

that's a fine argument and all, but the conclusion i draw from it is that the system (that he's supposed to go through like everybody else) is messed up.
   41. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:21 AM (#1833844)
Instead, he threatened an employee of a store with physical harm in order to commit a robbery.

Yes...but he did not actually have the ability to cause physical harm to them, because he was just faking having a loaded weapon. This makes the decision not to punish him a lot easier ,I think.

And no material damage was done...because he turned himself in immediately.

If he had actually had a loaded weapon, it would be a closer call as to whether he deserved jail time. In that situation he would probably be a "threat to society" by 6-4-3's definition. I think the non-loadedness of the weapon makes a big difference, although I'm sure it didn't seem that way to the people in the bank.
   42. Shiny Beast Posted: January 23, 2006 at 07:55 AM (#1833955)
Sorry, but this is about as incorrect as a statement can be. Those in recovery can see some of their old party friends, but need to maintain whatever sobriety regime they've been in to avoid relapse. Dropping a sobriety regime and hanging out with partiers - especially those you used to party with - and giving yourself ample access to drugs and alcohol is pretty much the optimum way to relapse.

Well, I don't doubt this. I am afraid in retrospect I wasn't being clear in what I was trying to say, so thanks for getting that straight.

What I think I meant was if he came out and wasn't 100% committed to his recovery, or was even determined in some way to get back to partying (even subconsciously), he could've roomed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and it wouldn't have stopped him from using again.

He would've gone back to it anyway at some point. His father couldn't have done anything to prevent it. I should say my own view of this, from some personal experience, is rather dark. For the really hard-core addictive personality, treatment and recovery is just a delaying of the inevitable. You may get five years of sobriety out of it, maybe twenty-five. But that demon is always out there, and sooner or later, well.
   43. mgl Posted: January 23, 2006 at 10:02 AM (#1833976)
I don't consider telling someone they have "no heart" an insult. This is not my kind of discussion so I will bow out.
   44. G.W.O. Posted: January 23, 2006 at 12:38 PM (#1833995)
He stated on his note that he had a gun and implied that people would be hurt unless they complied with his demands. In any state, that's considered armed robbery.
Welcome to Strat-O-Matic justice, where applying the rules exactly as written on the card is much more important than considering human factors.
   45. Spahn Insane Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#1834237)
(Does anyone remember the story about Reardon, I think when he was with Montreal? I've probably got some of it wrong, but the gist of it I think I remember pretty well.

The Expos were playing at home, right after a rough week where Reardon had blown a couple of saves and cost the team some games. During the game, the team wanted to recognize Reardon's wife, who had done a lot of volunteer work for some local causes; so they made an announcement about it over the PA, and when Mrs. Reardon stood up to receive applause, instead some of the crowd booed her, presumably for her husband's blown saves.


I do remember that, and IIRC, she was pregnant with Shane at the time. I thought of that when I first read the armed robbery story last month.
   46. Spahn Insane Posted: January 23, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#1834241)
Too bad Shane didn't read A Million Little Pieces -- that surely would have saved him.

RDF.

Perhaps it would've inspired him to create an alternate reality in which he wasn't a drug abuser.
   47. scotto Posted: January 23, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#1834256)
For the really hard-core addictive personality, treatment and recovery is just a delaying of the inevitable. You may get five years of sobriety out of it, maybe twenty-five. But that demon is always out there, and sooner or later, well.

Oh, no doubt the chance for relapse is always there, but I guess the optimist side is that the chance to re-recover is there as well. Unless, like Shane, you die as a consequence.

Addiction is a #####.
   48. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 23, 2006 at 05:52 PM (#1834340)
I have little doubt that, technically, Reardon's actions as reported could factually meet the statutory definition.

And I would assume that even in Kentucky, one can be found not-guilty because of psychiatric reasons. In this case -- assuming that he was indeed unarmed and that the facts played out as they are described in this article -- it would be ludicrous to find him fully legally accountable for armed robbery.
   49. rdfc Posted: January 23, 2006 at 06:08 PM (#1834371)
There is a good reason why you don't have to actually be armed to committ armed robbery; if you say you have a gun, other people are more likely to use a gun in response, and things can get very ugly from there. This is not just a legal technicality.

Noe do I think Reardon can legally claim that he didn't understand that what he was doing was wrong - if that were true, he wouldn't have immediately surrendered.

However, that is all about the letter of the law, not justice. Prosecutorial discretion is there so that prosecuters don't have to stick to the letter of the law; they can charge individuals with lesser crimes than they committed when the circumstances are appropriate. And this is one case where circumstances dictate that a lesser charge would constiture justice.
   50. Clemenza Posted: January 23, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#1834519)
Kruk, I don't understand what you (and you are far from alone) think gets accomplished by throwing Jeff Reardon into prison for a few years. If he is a threat to society, what about our prison systerm leads you to believe that he'll be less of one when he gets out?

Putting Reardon in jail does nothing to prevent this from happening again. Like most issues involving mental health and/or drug use, many people like to take the easy way out and just lock 'em up. Unfortunately it's not that easy and throwing these people in jail does nothing to solve the problem. Our goal as a "civilized" society should be to help these people not stick them in a hole for a few years.

Reardon and others like him cannot be punished out of their addictions or depression. They need to be talked to, listened to and treated with compassion and sympathy.
   51. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#1834597)
I have little doubt that, technically, Reardon's actions as reported could factually meet the statutory definition.

I have doubt:




(1) "Robbery" means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.

(2) (a) If in the course of committing the robbery the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the robbery is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) If in the course of committing the robbery the offender carried a weapon, then the robbery is a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(c) If in the course of committing the robbery the offender carried no firearm, deadly weapon, or other weapon, then the robbery is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084....



Fla. Stat. § 812.13 (2005)

"Charges of robbery with a firearm require the State to prove an actual firearm was used during the commission of the crime, and a BB gun is not a firearm as defined by Fla. Stat. ch. 790.001 (1998); where defendant alleged that he told his counsel that in his robbery with a firearm offenses he used an inoperable BB gun, but she advised him that it did not matter whether or not gun operated for purposes of convicting him, and that he would not have pled guilty but for such misadvice, he stated a legally sufficient claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, and it was error to summarily deny his motion for postconviction relief." .


Wilson v. State, 901 So. 2d 885, 2005 Fla. App. LEXIS 3887, 30 Fla. L. Weekly D 811 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 2005)
   52. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#1834603)
Moreover, it does not appear Reardon was arraigned on armed robbery:

"...(b) For a felony of the first degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or, when specifically provided by statute, by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.

(c) For a felony of the second degree, by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years."

Fla. Stat. 775.082

If he is "facing 15 years" he would have been arraigned under a seonc degree felony or 812.13(2c). If he was arraigned for armed robbery, he would have been facing thirty years.
   53. Sam M. Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#1834633)
BL,

Good point; I wasn't thinking of Florida specifically, where the incident took place. From what you've provided, it sure doesn't seem like armed robbery under Florida law.

OTOH, I also don't think he should be "facing 15 years" under these circumstances, either. I would guess that 6-4-3 would care less about the "armed robbery" label than about him doing significant prison time, and the second degree felony could achieve that.
   54. Backlasher Posted: January 23, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#1834657)
OTOH, I also don't think he should be "facing 15 years" under these circumstances, either. I would guess that 6-4-3 would care less about the "armed robbery" label than about him doing significant prison time, and the second degree felony could achieve that.


I agree. And if for some unknown reason a DA did try to press this issue, Reardon has three things going for him:

(1) A possible Mens Rea defense;
(2) A likely sympathetic jury; and
(3) A likely sympathetic judge.

I don't know the general plea game in FL. If its similar to Mass, I would see the range being a plea to a lesser charge with probation, to a plea to the current charge with a suspended sentence and probation and credit for time served.

I don't see a scenario where he gets additional committed time.

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