In Missouri, they take their doughnuts seriously. After a man store a single doughnut from the County Mart and shoved a store worker, prosecutors are seeking a conviction for strong-arm robbery and potentially 30 years. Even the story assistant manager Gary Komar admitted, “That someone would take just a single doughnut, not something very expensive or extravagant, that’s unique.” Scott A. Masters, 41, is no angel and has been repeatedly arrested. However, he has no history of violent crime. The prosecutor refuses to back down despite the fact that he is seeking a penalty usually reserved for murder. It is obviously an abuse of the system, making the prosecutorial abuse far worth than the doughnut theft. For the full story, click here
Such abuses occur in part because of the Court’s recent rulings gutting the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual sentencing in sentencing. These cases involved sentencing under three strikes laws. In 2003, the Court ruled in 5-4 decisions on two separate cases involving California’s 1994 law, providing for mandatory prison terms of 25 years to life for career criminals. Gary Ewing is serving 25 years to life for stealing golf clubs from a Los Angeles country club. Leandro Andrade was given a 50-year sentence in 1995 for stealing videotapes worth a trivial amount of money.