Literature and life has countless examples of criminals who are spared long incarceration or death and become model citizens who use their “second chance” to live a worthy life. Thomas Anderson, 57, is just not one of them. After since he was spared death in 1988, Anderson has racked up seven felony cases — and supplied pro-death penalty advocates with a rallying cry for tougher sentencing laws.
Anderson was put on death row 40 years ago for the killing an auxiliary Columbus police sergeant. While figures like Jean Valjean became moral men seeking to do good, Anderson sought to make up for lost felonious time.
He was released after the state Supreme Court overturned the death penalty and he later became eligible for parole for good behavior. In 1991, he was arrested for robbery. He then received five years in 1994 for theft. In 2000, he was given six months for receiving stolen property and then in 2001 he received three years for robbery and aggravated-assault. After being released, he was given forty days in 2005 for receiving stolen property again. In 2006, he was given three years for a robbery conviction.
He was still on parole from that last conviction was he was arrested in October after a woman said that Anderson punched her in the face after she confronted him over stealing her cellphone and purse from her car.
Defense counsel is expected to raise competency issues as a defense.
His case will be used by those, like Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, who insist that “reform is a discarded fantasy.” Anderson has not only thrown away the opportunity of a lifetime but he has succeeded in undermining those who show redemption and reform.
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