Shredded: California Man Sentenced to Eight Years For Stealing $4 Bag of Shredded Cheese

Robert Ferguson, a repeat offender, was sentenced to eight years for stealing a $3.99 bag of shredded cheese under the state’s three strikes law. Ferguson is no Jean Valjean — he has a criminal record going back 30 years. He was found to be bipolar by state psychologists.

Prosecutor Clinton Parish said Ferguson had spent 22 of the past 27 years behind bars. He could now be eligible for parole in three years.

Critics have cited his case as an example of sentencing that is out of control under the three strikes law. Notably, he was facing life in prison for the cheese crime if he had not been found bipolar.

For the full story, click here.

47 thoughts on “Shredded: California Man Sentenced to Eight Years For Stealing $4 Bag of Shredded Cheese”

  1. I never wear rose coloured glasses…never I’ve seen too much in my life to put the shades on anything. I still however am virtually unjaded and do try to look at everything from all perspectives.

  2. Dirty is a perspective, different is a perspective, rose colored glasses is a perspective. But you are probably correct.

  3. We’ll have to take this debate up later, my son is taking me out for a Birthday dinner….at his favorite restaurant of course! ttyl ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Just put your mind in the gutter with mine and you can see things from a different perspective.

  5. You just never know what you can see in a computer screen and those viruses are hard to detect even though they may be hard.

  6. AY,
    Well, of course you should have…I know you have powers that allow you to see through the computer screen!

  7. AY,
    I have been charge, in the past, with the offences of which you speak! However i am also drop dead gorgeous on the outside…rofl!!!

  8. Canadian Eh.,

    I like what you have had to say. You seem to be a very beautiful person on the inside, which matters the most.

  9. anon nurse –
    ” Iโ€™m compassionate, but I, too, have my limits. I donโ€™t know where one draws the line, but having good rehab programs is key. How successful are the brief/28-day programs? ”

    In my professional experience ( front line addictions & mental health )I have witnessed very little ongoing success from the 28-day rehab programs. In fact, very few people are able to make it through the 28 days at all. The ones who do, are often unable to maintain a ” clean ” life style for any length of time as they return to the lifestyle and personal problems that they left behind. I have witnessed far more success it terms of addictions re-hab when there are ongoing community based supports in place. Re-hab is not as simple as drying out and keeping the substance out of site for a short period of time. Often people with addictions use to self medicate an underlying emotional problem or mental illness. Treating the underlying condtion, assisting someone in making lifestyle changes, and making occasional relapse something to work through, rather than something to be ashamed of, are key factors in treatment.

    While many now have a pesimistic attitude towards addictions treatment, it is important to remember that, like most chronic illnesses, relapse is in fact a reality. Cancer patients who come out of remission are not chastised, nor are diabetics who experience complications due to unstable blood sugar levels. It seems, however, that any time a person with a mental illneess or addictions relapse they are punished for their condition, and the problems that the symptoms of their condition bring upon society.

  10. mespo, I’m a master at stating the obvious. Having said this, I’m guessing that there are some who don’t believe in the one “shot” approach, especially if there’s an injury or death connected to the first offense.

    I’m compassionate, but I, too, have my limits. I don’t know where one draws the line, but having good rehab programs is key. How successful are the brief/28-day programs?

    I’d like to hear Mike S’s thoughts on this thread.

  11. Sympathetic drunk:

    Given the pressures of the profession, I have no doubt your stats are accurate and keeping confidences is our raison detre. I alos have no doubt you have suffered immensely. That is why I am a supporter of Lawyers Helping Lawyers and other groups that bring these type of problems to the fore, and help with the solution.

  12. mespo,

    While I agree with what you are saying in theory.

    I as a defense attorney saw some rather gruesome examples of what bad decisions people made while taking or even using recreational drugs. I should of had a clue of the problems that were in store for me, but I did not. Because alcohol being socially accepted and I did not drink in public I was able to keep my secret hidden for years. Only my immediate family was aware and affected by my behavior.

    However, like a lot of others that DID not get the message, that I was not a social drinker. I went to work, did some family things, took all sorts of vacations and did all sorts of wonderful things, had all of the toys and so did the kids until……My wife, friend, lover, mother of our children left my sorry ass after a 2 month bender that I cannot recall.

    In my defense I was taking chantix to quit smoking. Became an animal for lack of a better word. I was one that just did not get it. I am one of the statistics. Although the average percentage of people who are alcoholic is about 9.8 percent of the general population. The Legal profession is 18.9 percent or higher as these are the admitted ones. As a whole they suffer a greater percentage, because the judges, prosecutors and police officers take care of there own. Some defense attorneys fall in this culture as well. But if they are any damn good they don’t. How many Judges have you known that were drinking on the bench?

    How do I know this, I have studied. Why? Because I wanted to know. It has been sometime now that I have not drank, but the thought crosses my mind after a number of years of sobriety. I am smart enough as I do not like my consequences.

    If I had allowed people in to my life, would it had turned out differently? I don’t know, we attorneys can keep secrets fairly well.

  13. Sawthmore mom:

    Congratulations on your victory but we’re not talking about folks like you who abide by societal rules in the main. We’re talking about repeat offenders who have been given numerous chances for rehab. While I agree with anon nurse (who doesn’t ?)that everyone deserves a “shot” at rehab, how many “shots” does one get before he’s out of the game?

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