Heroin addict gets life sentence for shoplifting

By chillinwill · Mar 22, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma County judge has slapped an Oklahoma City woman with a life prison sentence after she shoplifted two purses.

    District Judge Ray Elliott imposed the term on 56-year-old Cecilia Cathleen Rodriguez on Friday after learning she was a heroin addict whose history of theft-related crimes dates to 1971. Her arrest record shows convictions in California, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

    Court records indicate that Rodriguez had pleaded guilty in January to grand larceny after being caught at a Dillard’s store stealing purses worth $275 and $380.

    "It’s past time to say, ’Enough is enough.’ She needs to be warehoused for the rest of her life," Elliott said. "She’s a one-person crime wave."

    Elliott also revoked Rodriguez’s probation in a 2000 larceny case, which effectively added 19 years to her life prison term.

    Rodriguez’s attorney, Chris Daniels, said his client supported a drug habit through shoplifting and has never held a steady job. A presentencing report prepared for Elliott noted the Rodriguez cared for her mother and lived off of disability checks and food stamps.

    In the report, a probation and parole officer wrote that Rodriguez’s "need to support her addition overpowers the remorse that she expresses for the crimes she has committed."

    Rodriguez’s mother, 78-year-old Geneva Gabriel, said the judge’s decision was "all wrong" and that her daughter needed treatment for her drug addiction.

    "She hasn’t done any violent crime," Gabriel said. "She has a problem. ... Prison’s not going to help her. She’s been in and out so many times. She’s a good girl. She just needs help. She has seizures."

    It’s not the first time Rodriguez has been imprisoned for theft, and she also was sentenced for an assault in 1983, although Daniels said some of those crimes were committed by others using Rodriguez’s name.

    Elliott called Rodriguez a "poster child" for why thieves should be sent to prison.

    "We’ve got to do something," the judge said. "She’s costing every hard-working taxpayer in this state money because these businesses have to raise prices because thieves like her come and steal because, I guess, they’re too lazy to go to work."

    Daniels said he would ask Elliott in a year to reduce Rodriguez’s sentence.

    "It costs a ton of money to lock somebody up for that long," Daniels said.

    By the Associated Press
    March 21, 2009
    Boston Herald

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  1. SWIM Bulgakov
    Must be some mistake.
  2. BoxStar
    This shows the state of psychosis which criminal justice system suffers; they release rapists with multiple convictions (even child rapists) and murderers to make room people like this woman who has only committed minor crimes to survive and support her profound addiction, she needs a residential long term (12-months minimum) rehabilitation program which would be far cheaper that sending her to rot in hole in, SWIM bets, a maximum security prison since it seems by the judge opinion she is quite a menace to society.

    If she did not use drugs she could have committed much worse offenses and would have received a couple of years of jail followed by probation, but she is a drug user a member of the last minority which just fine to discriminate against and and persecute by all means necessary.:mad:
  3. pinksox
    That's exactly what SWIM was thinking. SWIM can't count the number of times she's seen repeat child molesters, rapists, and cold-blooded murders set free or even receive probation MULTIPLE times...when some lady with an addictive disease and without a violent crime against persons receives life? There's no justice in that. She needs long-term residential detox/treatment, not prison...but don't kid yourselves. Prisons have become the new asylums of our days...and, of course, asylums were closed down because they were viewed as cruel and unusual...but locking up addicts and the mentally ill...BOTH of whom need treatment--which is hardly adequate in prison if present at all--is not cruel and unusual?

    The lady needs her sentence changed...and this judge needs to be reassigned to sentencing people who only commit violent crimes against persons. Those are the jagoffs that deserve life in prison instead of repeat chances to hurt others.
  4. SWIM Bulgakov
    I studied Law in a European country and know that for every crime/offense the Law gives the court a range of sentencing possibilities that is absolutely binding for the judge. Someone convicted of murder can get 10 years to life, manslaughter 1 to 10 years, armed robbery about the same, theft a few weeks on probation and/or community service to two year jail time, etc.
    So when I first read it I thought it is some sort of mistake because the judge wouldn't have the authority to sentence a convict to 5 years of jail for shoplifting, let alone life.

    But over 12 hours have now past and there is still no update so I have started worrying that the US Criminal Law might be completely crazy. Does anybody know if this is really happening?

    Another thing that perplexes me is that these news didn't make it to CNN nor BBC.
    Does it mean it happened a nobody gives a flying fuck?

    Is isn't it simply scary? It's not that different from just burning shoplifters and addicts on the stake.

    Can anyone explain to me what's going on please?
  5. Riverhead
    I'm pretty sure this is because of the "Three Strikes and You're Out" law. This means that if you commit 3 felonies, you get life in prison.
  6. SWIM Bulgakov
    Say what?

    And previously she appears to have been sentenced to 19 years on probation. Doesn't that defeat all purpose of the probation system? Probation is supposed to be given for months-long sentences, never more than 3 years.

    I've watched every single sequel of Law an Order and never realized that the US is about 200 years behind all Western civilization. I was planning on visiting this country. I'd be too scared now. What if by some mistake they go medieval on my ass?
  7. Riverhead
    I said: I'm pretty sure this is because of the "Three Strikes and You're Out" law. This means that if you commit 3 felonies, you get life in prison.

    Probation is given for long periods of time, even in Europe. The purpose of probation is to give the convicted person a chance to stay out of prison on condition he/she doesn't commit any new crimes. I don't know what you think the purpose of probation is.

    You better be trollin
  8. Greenport
    That's just wrong...people should go out and protest this woman's sentence. Unfortunately nobody likely will. They might as well kill her now because they've pretty much taken her life away the way it is anyways!

    LIFE in prison is not a conviction that should be handed out casually! That woman needed help, she had a problem and needed rehabilitation. Now her carcus is going to rot away in a jail cell. WHOOO go oklahoma three strikes law!
  9. Yetti
    SWIM thinks that judge was thinking about re-election when he sentanced her. They have to be tougher on people who use drugs then they have to be on people who actually commit violent crimes like rape, murder, assault / battery.

    It's bullshit really. I wish that woman the best of luck... Life for a couple purses...

  10. Riverhead
    I'm not defending the three strikes law, but they are pretty consistent applying it. They don't pick out drug users as some insinuate. There is an even more extreme example where some guy's third offense was possession of weed. A straight edger who commits three felonies will get life in prison too.
  11. drug-bot
    couldnt aggree more, she needs rehab, or since she was an addict for decades needs to be on drug substitution therapy (ie. methadone or suboxone/subutex). drug addiction is a recognized disease by the American Medical Association which is comprises this countrys top medical experts and its also recognized as a disease in DSM-IV to DSM-V which is published by the American Psychiatric Association which is the top association by this nations top psychiatrics and psycologists.this judge is an ignorant and sadistic fuck who has zero understanding of modern medicion or psyciatry, the lady didnt kill anyone she just stole to support her disease, every major medical and psycological association in the nation and throughout the western world regonize addiction is a disease. life in prison for the symptoms of a chronic disease is cruel and unusaul punishment, this uneducated judge should be dis-barred and tarred-and-feathered. hope she appeals this ruling. god this nations judicial system frequently diguests me.

    ^ choose to put some of swims writting in bold to highlight its importance
  12. Will21st
    There is only one sentence for murder,and that's life.Maybe the convict can appeal for parole after 10 years,but murder means life.
  13. Greenport
    Not necessarily true - sentences for murder can be less than life, especially in cases where it was either you or them. There are certainly times when someone can murder another and get a 10-yr sentence from it.

    Now, cold-blooded murder with no sensible basis, that's likely to get ya life (or even death in places like Texas, which still has the death penalty! Uncle Sam murdering murderers...)
  14. xxdan123xx
    My god. Its a weird world where child molester and rapist walk free in their life time but this poor lady who "stole" is going to jail for life. At least some lawyers might see this and help her out. Talk about the punishment not fitting the crime. If she wasn't a heroin addict she would do a year probation if it was her second time she would do a year jail. Shes an addict so shes a hopless case and a burden to society. Rediculous.
  15. SWIM Bulgakov
    SWISWIM likes judge's comment "She’s costing every hard-working taxpayer in this state money because these businesses have to raise prices because thieves like her come and steal because, I guess, they’re too lazy to go to work."

    He "guesses". He has to guess because he never tried.

    Picture the following scenario:

    SWIMSWIM puts this judge on the needle for a week and lets him loose to shoplift or whatever his heart desires to get the cash for whatever his heart craves.
    In the meanwhile SWISWIM hires good people to put Cecilia through rehab, brainwash, reintegration, more brainwash, law school, church and crowns her to be a judge.
    Then SWISWIM recaptures the half-dead judge charges him with whatever felonies he committed to get whatever his heart craved and throws him to Cecilia's feet.

    What would you say will the "poor lady" do?
  16. Riverhead
    There is just no fucking way you are a law student. I hope for you that you're just trolling the board and that you're not genuinely stupid.
  17. Lady Codone
    Speaking from long-term, first hand personal experience, Oklahoma is a modern day version of the Wild West, where killers, rapists, pedophiles, and other hardened criminals go free while lesser threats to society are left to rot in jail. You can be shot/killed for unknowingly stepping foot onto someone else's "property" (trespassing), can be locked up for 90+ years for possession of marijuana (see Will Foster case), and often have to endure racial slurs/sexism in the workplace/gay bashing, etc. but are likely to be "subdued" by law enforcement for holding peace rallies or peaceful protests of any kind. OKC and Tulsa are really the only semi-civilized locations in the state; the rest are small farming towns run by inbred rednecks/alcoholic Native American families who can pretty much get away with anything they want and the only law is the "Good ol' Boy" system.

    Glad SWIM has moved far, far away :(
  18. Will21st
    Huh?Self-defense,that would be.... and that is,legally speaking,not murder!Please give examples for a country where murder,not manslaughter or similar,does NOT carry a life sentence...
  19. Greenport
    Hm, in America it isn't unheard of for a person to get less than that if they can get out early on parole or if there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the case, such as self-defense, mental illness, hell many things. There are limited, albeit definitely existing, cases where a person kills another person and doesn't spend their entire lives behind bars or exterminated.

    SwiY's right in that murder, when done cold-blooded is usually a crime punishable by life. But not always.

    Anyways don't look at swiM's fish about the bad rep, it didn't give any to swiY so that was other people.
  20. Will21st
    Ok,but we were talking about murder,and legally,murder is:

    The unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse.

    THAT,is murder,and that carries a LIFE SENTENCE.All the other circumstances you mentioned are not,legally speaking,murder.
    I think some people on this thread should weigh their words carefully before giving me a bad rep for stating facts.
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