Crime necessitates intent

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Regarding your front-page article concerning the senior prank that landed four young women in jail (“Senior prank puts four in jail,” May 15):

Certainly other options existed than to burden the county taxpayers with the cost of arrest, booking, incarceration and prosecution – not to mention the fact that four young women will have a permanent arrest record, probably a conviction and the possible derailment of plans for further education and/or employment.

Other options included a school system that would consider the punishment their families would impose; restitution in lieu of arrest and incarceration; and community service. After all, was it a “prank” conducted in poor judgment, or was it a crime?

A fifth student was arrested in the incident Thursday. I am not related to any of these five teenagers, nor do I represent them. But a crime necessitates intent, and where young adults are engaged in a prank, criminal intent should be low on the index of possible motives. Unless I am missing something, I genuinely feel sorry for these young ladies.

Andy Tisdale

Evans

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jrbfromga
414
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jrbfromga 05/20/12 - 02:58 am
4
2

Yes you are missing

Unpublished

There was clearly intent to disrupt and destroy. In your mind, does a "prank" never become a crime? Whenever there are costs and repercussions of an act, those responsible must be accountable. That is justice.

southernguy08
415
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southernguy08 05/20/12 - 07:25 am
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JUSTICE

Unpublished

Jane Fonda can go to North Vietnam, during the height of the war, and make propaganda appearances for the enemy, then return home without spending a single night in jail for treason. Justice? Bill Clinton can lie under oath and still hold his office as president. Justice? Members of congress like Charles Rangel can be convicted of tax evasion, and yet STILL stay in office. Justice? Murderers can kill, receive sentences, serve those sentences, and be out and among us again. Justice? I feel sorry for law enforcement. They bust their butts and risk their lives for justice, and the word has become a joke!

seenitB4
72524
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seenitB4 05/20/12 - 08:30 am
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Costly prank

My punishment would be community service all summer plus payment for the damage done in the school...

Too bad we can't use the ole days of a good ole whupping too.

avidreader
2606
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avidreader 05/20/12 - 08:46 am
6
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Compassion vs. Accountability

Andy, I admire your compassion. I am a high school teacher, and I never would have succeeded as an educator without genuine compassion for children. But I have been around the block more than a few times, and I have to say that teen accountability is a must. It is sad that these pranksters will probably have to carry the baggage of criminal intent; however, this will be a just lesson that separates them from the non-sacrificing norm of their priviledged lives -- lives where the "kids will be kids" mantra finally comes crashing down around them. And when I mention PRIVILEDGE, I am not speaking of monetary wealth; I am speaking of enablement. Just because a child is the product of a "good home", does this excuse the child from accountability?

I have personally witnessed the outcomes of priviledged children who went through profound attitude adjustments after facing the criminal justice system. There are many positives to being held accountable to someone (or some system) other than the family.

My twenty-six year old son is a much better person now thanks to Judge David D. Watkins.

Amen!

dichotomy
26603
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dichotomy 05/20/12 - 09:00 am
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2

Pranks do not cause property damage.

It's not a prank when property is damaged and employees are disrupted. They had intent to do criminal damage to property. Just because it was funny to them does not excuse the fact that they did criminal damage to property. Would you feel the same way if they had decided to go through your neighborhood and super glue all of the door locks on the houses or cars? The enablers are wrong on this one. They clearly had intent to do criminal damage to property.

jrbfromga
414
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jrbfromga 05/20/12 - 10:18 am
0
4

Hey avidreader

Unpublished

As a "high school teacher" you should not misspell privilege. Otherwise, I agree with your comment except for the praise of Judge Watkins. My son's encounter with him was anything but just, primarily due to consigning him to Sentinel Offender Services. That, however, is another story. My son owes his turnaround to Judge Blanchard, Captain Chester Huffman, and his own self-realization.

shrimp for breakfast
5011
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shrimp for breakfast 05/20/12 - 10:20 am
5
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There are pranks and then there is damage to real property.

While I'm all for a good senior prank what these kids did crossed the line. When you basicly destroy every lock at the school it crosses from prank to crime. Whereas I don't believe these kids should be saddled with a felony that will follow them thier whole life the punishment should be severe. Not jail or even legal but imposed by the school. All the damage to be paid for by said kids from money that they have to earn themselves. Community service as another punishment and having to speak at schools about what a knucklehead thing they did. I must admit this was either the stupidest senior prank in history or these kids have place no value on their own integrity. I hope it is the former.

csraguy
1767
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csraguy 05/20/12 - 01:13 pm
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A Felony Criminal Act is Not a Prank

Yes Andy, you are missing something. These young ladies intended to disrupt the school environment. These young ladies intended to damage the locks on school property. These young ladies did in fact cause a disruption to the school environment and damage government property in excess of $5,000.00.

Would you be calling this a prank if 5 guys from Butler decided it would be funny to disrupt the school campus of Greenbrier like this? Although I don't know the answer, I highly doubt you would be showing such compassion. It is ok to be compassionate but your letter is nothing more than an enabling attitude. Many parents wish to be friends now with their kids instead of being parents. They attempt to keep them out of trouble vs. teaching and educating them to always think about the consequences of their actions and then allowing them to be held accountable.

I do agree with you however that the taxpayers should not pay the fees associated with arrest, booking, incarceration and prosecution - these fees should be added on top of the damage to government property and be a part of their punishment and restitution.

Just because these parents can afford to pay for their kids poor decisions does not mean that they should be allowed to buy their way out of this. Watch the old Andy Griffith show where the parent wanted to bail his kid out for simply riding his bike on the sidewalks – it is still true today.

Conservative Man
4578
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Conservative Man 05/20/12 - 01:57 pm
5
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One lock is a prank.....43?

One lock is a prank.....43? That's a felony. But let's be real here. It seems none of these girls had a prior history of criminal behavior, so they'll probably get a short term of probation, restitution, maybe some community service.
And their records will likely be expunged at a later date....small price to pay to learn a lesson. If they had been "career" criminals and caused 5 grand worth of damage the outcome may have been different. But with some of the judges we have now, maybe not...

JRC2024
6955
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JRC2024 05/20/12 - 02:21 pm
3
1

I just do not remember doing

I just do not remember doing senior pranks. We were taught better.

Little Lamb
40104
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Little Lamb 05/20/12 - 04:17 pm
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Intent

Sorry, but I disagree with Mr. Tisdale. Those girls (plus whoever the fifth mystery guest is) fully intended to destroy locks. They just had no idea how much locks cost.

And if the county judicial system cranked up into high gear for the Charlie Rape Gang (where there was no physical damage done), you can bet they'll have no compunction about holding a trial for these young women.

KSL
105657
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KSL 05/20/12 - 09:19 pm
4
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I agree wholeheartedly with

I agree wholeheartedly with most of the posts. And it was vandalism, not a prank. And there is an assumption by Mr. Tisdale that the parents would have punished them or that restitution would have been made in a timely fashion.
Yes. You are indeed missing something. You are missing the fact that some of us came along during a period when our parents would not have tolerated school pranks that would have cost a minute of extra janitorial time to actual damage to school (tax payer) property. You are missing the fact that this was perpetrated by girls around the age of 18, who are supposed to be more mature than boys the same age. At least they were when l was 18.

rmwhitley
5081
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rmwhitley 05/20/12 - 07:08 pm
0
0

Prank or punk?

Unpublished

A young man in a "hoodie", (Fla. for those not familiar with the incident), recently lost his life as a result of prank or punk?

madgerman
236
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madgerman 05/20/12 - 07:09 pm
0
0

If you can't do it at home or

Unpublished

If you can't do it at home or church, what makes you think it is alright to do it to someone else? I am sure these "girls" daddys are constantly repairing the house locks or the automobile locks because the little darlings are just having fun. I am steaming mad that they are not in J A i L for destruction of property period. That is the only we are going to stop this iresponsible behaviour being exhibited by young adults.

Abbynoll
282
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Abbynoll 05/20/12 - 09:40 pm
2
0

A prank is...

A prank is turning loose 100 chicks in the hallway. That's what my brother's senior class did last year. He went to a military academy, and even they got a good laugh out of it. They even mentioned it in the graduation ceremony.

KSL
105657
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KSL 05/20/12 - 09:53 pm
2
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wrong headline

Crime, at least perceived by the law, does not nescitate intent. See the law about being one with others when the crime is escalted by one in the group. You can be convicted of murder just because one of the 3 of the robbers decides to kill the victim at the last minute.

KSL
105657
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KSL 05/20/12 - 10:01 pm
2
0

prank thing

I just wonder when the prank thing became such a ritual. I can start to sound like a senior citizen with "back in my day' but that would not be correct for GA high schools other than mine, the one I know about.

KSL
105657
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KSL 05/20/12 - 10:09 pm
0
0

thank you

Abby. Hoping to see you soon.

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 05/20/12 - 11:09 pm
2
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This is why things are so out

This is why things are so out of control with kids these days. Hold them accountable for what they did. This type of damage to property is beyond a prank.

Willow Bailey
20240
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Willow Bailey 05/20/12 - 11:12 pm
0
2

Andy, good letter and you

Andy, good letter and you should get the law better than most. Don't take it personally, this is a tough crowd.

KSL
105657
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KSL 05/21/12 - 04:16 am
1
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Don't agree with you on this

Don't agree with you on this one, Willow. A child of mine doing something like this would face way more dreaded punishment than is being advocated. I would hate to hear the explanation that the one who was a primary senatorial appointee to a military academy would have to explain!

KSL
105657
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KSL 05/20/12 - 11:52 pm
1
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Tons of thumbs up, patty.

Tons of thumbs up, patty.

Willow Bailey
20240
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Willow Bailey 05/21/12 - 10:40 am
0
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KSL, I am all for parental

KSL, I am all for parental and school discipline. The problem I have is the multiple felonies. We have become either am under reactive or over reactive society. We've got to find some balance.

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