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11-20-2011, 07:53 AM   #1
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Mississippi Woman Receives Three Year Prison Sentence For Feeding Her Family

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Last week, a federal court in Mississippi sentenced a key figure in a $3 million mortgage fraud scheme to two and a half years in federal prison. Just a few days earlier, however, a Mississippi federal judge imposed a significantly harsher sentence on a woman who lied on her benefits applications in order to receive just $4,367 in food stamps to help feed her family:


In moments of desperation, a lie can seem like the only option. Anita McLemore, a Mississippi mother of two, faced one of those unfortunate moments when filling out her application for food stamps — and now she’ll pay the price, by spending three years of her life behind bars in federal prison.

Thanks to a federal ban on food stamps for people with felony drug convictions, people like McLemore are out of luck when it comes to getting assistance with putting food on their tables. Though states can opt out of the ban, those that don’t (like Mississippi) deny food stamps even to individuals who have already served their sentences or overcome previous addictions. It’s true that McLemore’s past isn’t perfect — she has four felony drug convictions and one misdemeanor, which place her firmly in the category of people the federal government has declared unfit to receive public benefits. Hence, faced with the prospect of being unable to feed her family, McLemore lied on her application.

In a compassionate nation, the penalty for drug use is not starvation. In a just nation, the penalty for drug use is not that your two children must be hungry as well. There is no excuse for a federal drug policy that punishes anyone by taking away their ability to put food on the table — and that punishes them so severely for the crime of needing to eat.

And, unlike thousands of Wall Street bankers who helped plunge America’s economy into a catastrophic recession, McLemore actually paid back the $4,367 she received.
Mississippi Woman Receives Three Year Prison Sentence For Feeding Her Family | ThinkProgress

11-20-2011, 08:28 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The logic escapes me, but lets see where this sort of thing takes us.
A person needs to eat, but because of some problems in the past, is not eligible for any sort of aid, and probably can't get a job either.
So, with no other options, the person turns to crime (either like the one above, or more serious).
Eventually, the person gets caught and goes to jail. Now, we all know it costs many times more to keep a person in jail rather than to give them welfare, so the economics aren't so good, but this is the way things are done in a society that is bent on retribution rather than compassion.
Over time, there are so many people going to jail that budgets need to be adjusted to pay for the incarceration system. And where does this money come from? Well, we can't tax the rich, or the corporations, so we tax the middle class and cut more programs to help the poor.
With more taxes, the middle class gets poorer, and with fewer aid programs, the poor become poorer, eventually falling into the same trap of desperation that has hit the person who needs to eat.
The middle class, who are paying for all this get poorer, possibly to the point where they need to supplant their incomes via criminal activity.
So, more crime get's committed, more people go to jail, more programs get cut, which leads to more crime, more people going to jail, and on and on.
At some point, if this carries on to it's logical extreme, you will have 45% of your population in jail, 54% of your population supporting them and 1% still not giving a damn about the other 99%.
What a progressive society you are building down there.
11-20-2011, 08:30 AM   #3
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This sound horrible!
But there are unanswered questions surrounding the news story also.
ie. what did she do with the extra money? was it all accounted for? etc etc
11-20-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
This sound horrible!
But there are unanswered questions surrounding the news story also.
ie. what did she do with the extra money? was it all accounted for? etc etc
I'm sorry, it's really not a money issue to me..............

QuoteQuote:
In a compassionate nation, the penalty for drug use is not starvation. In a just nation, the penalty for drug use is not that your two children must be hungry as well. There is no excuse for a federal drug policy that punishes anyone by taking away their ability to put food on the table — and that punishes them so severely for the crime of needing to eat.

And, unlike thousands of Wall Street bankers who helped plunge America’s economy into a catastrophic recession, McLemore actually paid back the $4,367 she received
Pretty well sums it up.

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which place her firmly in the category of people the federal government has declared unfit to receive public benefits.


Christian nation my arse.......

11-20-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
This sound horrible!
But there are unanswered questions surrounding the news story also.
ie. what did she do with the extra money? was it all accounted for? etc etc
"Extra money?" Apparently she paid back the food stamps, where she got that, who knows. Presumably a chunk of whatever income she'd gotten. It's definitely another of those bad effects of the drug war: it doesn't take much for people with drug problems to end up permanently in the 'felon' class and then without much recourse.

Of course, the double-standards are pretty ridiculous, considering how many white-collar criminals get treated more lightly even if they rip off lots of working families for millions. Wheatfield's right, of course... More than that, so much else of what's out there in politics and even the system kind of incentivizes having more kids: just to feed any one already has... (And of course that gets to mean there's enough money involved that fraud becomes worthwhile, if not as in this case, seeming-necessary. ) Gets kind of complicated that way when there are conservative social agendas and corporate greed and stuff pushing down from the other direction, raising prices, etc.

Kind of like how in England they're trying to cap the social supports so that even a really big family isn't getting more in social supports than the average worker... the Catholic Church is of course against this cause they are against contraception and all, but it's kind of a cruel equation all around. ...the real problem's of course, the economy, jobs, wages, and all.
11-20-2011, 12:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
and 1% still not giving a damn about the other 99%
They must give a damn, who owns the prisions.
Once we've got your assets.. "all your asses are belong to us".
11-20-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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This story doesn't make any sense to me. Even if she wasn't qualified for food stamps her kids were and there's no law that says as their guardian she can't file for them. She just can't file on her own behalf so I'm guessing she probably stepped over the line by getting them for herself too? That's sad. She's paid her debt and her kids have a right to eat...
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