Florida Man Sentenced to Life for Theft of $4 of Socks

Dean Rockmore, 48, has the distinction of serving life for the theft of socks. The Daytona Beach man received a mandatory life sentence as a repeat offender after he ran from a store with $4 of socks.

Rockmore was convicted of armed robbery because, when confronted by a loss prevention officer in the parking lot, he pulled up his shirt to show a gun. The crime began as an effort to steal both tee-shirts and socks. He dropped the shirts in the parking lot.

Since he qualified as a re-offender, Circuit Judge Margaret Hudson gave him life.

He will have a difficult time challenging the sentence. The Supreme Court has effectively barred challenges for disproportionate sentencing under the Eighth Amendment in a pair of decisions. In Ewing v. California, 538 U.S. 11 (2003), and Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63 (2003), the Court refused to find that noncapital sentences were unconstitutionally disproportional to the underlying crime. In Ewing, the defendant stole three golf clubs worth $399 each from the pro shop in El Segundo, California. He could have been charged with a misdemeanor under the discretion of the judge or prosecutor since this was a “wobbler” charge that could be prosecuted either as a felony or misdemeanor. They refused and his conviction triggered a life sentence under the state’s three strikes law. The Court later refused to overturn the sentence under the Eighth Amendment.

For the full story, here.

18 thoughts on “Florida Man Sentenced to Life for Theft of $4 of Socks”

  1. this dude is stupid. he had the probability of getting caught especially having 2 preious charges that now really f***** him. Why not steal right?

    maybe put the socks on and dip out. there is always a way for everything

  2. he knew what he was doing. he knew the penalty, sucks to be an idiot, but it’s worse for the tax payers. i hope he repents, & changes his life & calls on the Lord to change his life, & use him in prison.

  3. You that feel the punishment here fits the crime are simply playing into the hands of the Prison Industrial Complex. They feel that prisons must be kept filled in order to create jobs in all the poor communities in this state. Private companies see how profitable this busines has become. The profit is coming from your taxes though. This one case will cost you the taxpayer well over $1million. That’s if the man doesn’t require much in the way of medical assitance as he ages. The costs could run significantly higher. Read up on the facts. Once you are better informed you will understand why these mandatory minimums should be repealed.

  4. He was in and out of DOC eight times before he got the life sentence. Arson, Agg Battery, Battery on LEO; take your pick. This guy was a leech upon society and a waste of oxygen. Life in prison is almost justice. He should have been there much sooner.

  5. The idiocy of the criminal (justice) system clearly displayed yet again. I would rather just pay for the damn socks — and the shirts. Better yet, I’d like to send the bill for this man’s lifetime incarceration to the legislators who passed the legislation.

  6. “For some the only life they know how to handle is the one behind bars.”

    Roland you seem to be a fountain of compassion and a cornucopia of smugness.

  7. Anyone remember Les Miserables. Mandatory sentencing is the cause of demagogues playing people’s fear. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs officials go unpunished and make millions.

  8. For some the only life they know how to handle is the one behind bars. They can’t seem to function in “normal” society and revert back to crime. Now he no longer needs to worry about getting socks or any other clothing, everything he needs will be provided by the State. How much will this cost the taxpayer?

  9. There was another case where a homeless man was arrested and given a life sentence after he stold toilet paper from a porta potty .

    Its the repeat offender point system in florida that allows these silly sentencing

  10. What Mike A and Blousie said. Bad law meets bad criminal cost/benefit analysis.

  11. I could be wrong but I think this was the major factor.

    ” he pulled up his shirt to show a gun. “

  12. You’d think after having gone through the system and served time, the guy would be a little smarter about the impact a gun has on charges when caught stealing anything … you’d think that but this dude was stealing underwear for cryin’ out loud. Whatever he paid for the gun could have bought a whole lot of underwear.

  13. This is what happens when the legislative branch decides it wants to be the judicial branch as well.

  14. More than just shoplifting. Armed robbery, in Florida. Felon-in-possession as well, federal if not also state. If he’d just not been armed or had not resisted, it might still be shoplifting.

    Looks like, up to this point, the man was “serving life on the installment plan.” Now, he’s just serving it. Seems like the court and the prosecutor were just tired of deal with him and folks like him.

  15. What a pity that Rockmore did not use the gun to kill the loss prevention officer.

    In my view the death sentence for capital murder would not be much worse than what he has got for the socks. His life is effectively over any way.

    If petty offenders knowing that arrest would lead to a life sentence killed to avoid capture according to the logic of may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb then maybe the good people who pass these extremely righteous laws might think again.

  16. This is sad. Did they at least let him keep the socks that he gave his life for?

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