Tuesday, April 08, 2008

And some wonder why black people call it the "Just us" system. Black "masterminds" get 5 and 10 years. White perps get 2 years and probation. Hmmmm

NAACP alleges racial bias in Barbie Bandits' sentences

The head of the state NAACP on Monday called for a state investigation into racial sentencing patterns in Cobb County.

Edward DuBose said racial disparity in the recent sentencing of the four defendants in the so-called Barbie Bandits bank theft case prompted a request he intends to make to state Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

Jessica McGowan/AJC
Heather Lyn Johnston, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by taking, a felony and one count of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, a misdemeanor. She was sentenced to 10 years probation.

"When four people are involved in the same crime and those who happen to be Caucasian receive much less time than those who are African American, this reflects a problem in the justice system that must be addressed," DuBose said at a news conference at the Cobb NAACP headquarters in Marietta.

The Feb. 27, 2007, heist at a Bank of America branch in Acworth involved four people: two young white women and a black male bank teller — who admitted their roles — and another black man convicted by a jury of planning the job.

Heather Lyn Johnston, 20, and Ashley Nicole Miller, 19, both pleaded guilty to theft- by-taking charges. Miller received two years in jail, followed by eight years probation. Johnson got 10 years probation.

Prosecutors had recommended both be sentenced to 10 years, three in jail and seven years' probation.

Bank teller Benny Allen III also pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to five years in jail. Prosecutors had recommended six.

Allen, 23, told the women what to write in their demand note and handed them the money, nearly $11,000.

He was on probation for a drug conviction when he was sentenced and the prosecutor in the bank case said he had not cooperated with authorities.

"He was not honest before his plea. He was not honest after his plea," prosecutor Bonnie Derrer said at his sentencing.

Michael Chastang, who is serving 15 years on drug-trafficking charges unrelated to the bank heist, received the most severe of the sentences meted out by Superior Court Judge Mary Staley.

She ordered the 28-year-old Chastang to complete the term on the drug charges, then serve 10 years for the bank theft.

Police found Ecstasy on Chastang when he was arrested.

Staley noted Chastang's role in the bank theft case —he was the one who put the women in contact with Allen, the teller.

Johnston started cooperating with police two days after the heist, and Miller, who also had a DUI arrest in Clayton County, began cooperating later.

Although DuBose said he recognized that both men had prior convictions for drugs, he maintained the sentences were inequitable.

"This is a case that clearly reflects unequal justice," he said. "These two women referred to as the Barbie Bandits should have received sentences equal to the African Americans."

Deane Bonner, president of the Cobb NAACP branch, said members have monitored sentencing in Cobb and believe African-Americans are sentenced more harshly than whites for the same crime.

She said she did not have statistics at hand but would provide them at a later time.

"We have the cases," she said. "We're just saying it is time to speak out."

Original article posted here.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well both black perps were already on probation. For first offense, it's normal to get probation, actually that's how the black perps were allowed to commit more crime in the first place, they were on probation like the white perps are now on. If you lock up everyone on their first offense, you'll have an even bigger over-crowding jail problem. It's how it work, it's their second chance in life, the black perps wasted it, now it's time to see if the girls can make better use of it.

Anonymous said...

Just because you link to the story does not give you permission to copy and paste the story. You can summarize a story or use a small amount of the story as long as you credit the source, but copy and paste a story in its entirety, even when providing a link to its source, is still intellectual property rights infringement.

As far as the article is concerned, the two females had clean criminal records, the two males did not. This is another example of making a legal issue a racial issue.

Da Weaz said...

Active perpetrators almost invariably get harsher sentences than accomplices. This is a basic sentencing reality. And the sentence for one black accomplice has been tacked onto his current sentences consecutively. So long as injustices like these continue, as was the case with the Jena 6, African Americans will have no confidence in the "justice system" and continue to fill jails through this eugenic sentencing, and having myrmidon apologists attempting the justify the system post facto, while ignoring obvious sentencing disparities, to reinforce your nearly religious belief in the fairness of an inherently disparate system implemented since slavery in this nation.

Seen death penalty statistics lately?

Check David Baldus' landmark study before spouting knee jerk defenses of a judicial system that values race above all other variables.

And after that, check out Marc Mauer's work on the same.

The religious beliefs are hard to expunge, but with a little work, we can cure you.

Da Weaz said...

Given that CNN itself has linked to the story, I doubt that that source minds, and the AP wire story is substantially similar.

Now if you are an IP lawyer with specific information that the copyright owner explicitly rejects this use, then maybe we can discuss it.

Otherwise you are feel free to visit one of the many fine sites in cyberspace.

Da Weaz said...

By the way, please provide ANY evidence of a sentence of probation for a bank robbery.

Please post a link.

Anonymous said...

That's easy, you see it was quite popular a while back for black men to send their girlfriend rob bank, so you could take the example of Ashley Vilchuck ( just google it ), she got 1 and half year HOME DETENTION for bank robbery, and the black boyfriend ( who again, gave the written note ) wasn't even in the bank! Probation is there to give second chances, those black perps got theirs, and they decided to rob a bank, their choices, their loss. The white girls have 10 years to put their lives together or face jail, it's up to them. But I guess if black people want to abolish probation, it's their choice, afterall, these black perp wouldn't have been free to commit the crime if they weren't given probation in the first place. Maybe we should stop these second chances if the black community don't like them, afterall in this case it didn't work at all.

M said...

Figures white Judge delivers White justice! Sad thing is this from the bloggers comments it shows me that their are a lot of hidden racist in America. In my opinion, the Judge should be removed from the bench for practicing Judial Racism!

Da Weaz said...

Yeah, but your ignorance of the system and the system's hypocrisy is revealed when black male drug dealers use their BLACK girlfriends to transport drugs. The girlfriends end up getting more jail time than the "masterminds." But nobody calls these women "Barbies".

But yes, the comments reveal the still persistent good ole US of A home grown racism.

Thanks for revealing just another reason why I am glad that I am not among you now.

Anonymous said...

You got proof that drug mules actually pass more time then "mastermind"? No you don't.

Look, you're biased, it's your choice, but probation has constantly proved to be the better solution then locking up everyone on first offense, it didn't work out for those two black men, it happens, it suck, and now they have to face the consequence since they decided to waste their second chance. But it doesn't means the whole concept of probation is useless or racist. Actually it shows alot that a country gave these black men a second chance that they could waste on a stupid plan to rob a bank for a handful of dollars. Now it's the turn of those two girls to waste or seize their second chance.

In most country, this wouldn't happen at all. Actually it's something to be proud of, not only did they get a second chance, one actually got a job at a bank while on probation! What more can you wish for? Why he decide to waste it we'll never know, but at least he got his chances.

Da Weaz said...

Sorry, I put sources for you to read, but you are either too lazy or too stupid to read them. But there's a whole body of evidence supporting what I have been saying which is why, for example, the cocaine-crack drug sentences disparities are to be abolished (brought about because of racism).

You don't know what you are talking about, but spew stuff like you have an idea.

Anyway, just so others can have something to look at, try here:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugwar/mandatorymin/

But the list of evidence is as long as your ignorance.

Sorry.

Da Weaz said...

Here's something else (that I had already made reference to before):

http://www.sentencingproject.org/Admin/Documents/publications/dp_genderandjustice.pdf

Maybe you should check your facts before you start calling someone biased, especially since you haven't got a clue about what you're talking about.

Cheers, mate. Hope you enjoy the reading.

Please let me know if there is something in there that you don't understand. I'd love to explain it to you.

Anonymous said...

You haven't been saying that the crack-baby laws where racist up until now. You were saying that these two white girls shouldn't have a probation like these two black men got first then wasted.

That makes you biased. You want to deny something that the two black male got and wasted ( one even landed a friggin bank teller job while on probation! That's write, in your Amerikkka, a black man on probation can get a bank teller job ). You haven't explained why exactly you think that we should abolish the probation system, except you think it's "racist".

Which I don't get, I mean if this system is racist, wouldn't those 2 black men would've been jailed and none of this would of happened?

I guess I expect a little logic in you call for "racism everywhere".

From my point of view, I'll never know why these two black men decided to waste their probation on such a stupid plan, their choice, but I don't see why we shouldn't apply the second chance system to the two girls, maybe they will salvage their lives, maybe they'll land a bank teller job and commit robbery, but at least we would have given them their second chance, like those two black men got.

Da Weaz said...

Sorry, you're kind of funny. You say that I can't support my claims then when I do, you ignore it.

The subject of this article is racism in the criminal justice system, and your troll-like desire to turn the attention away from the obvious, without even trying to address the material that I have provides, exposes YOUR bias for more than mine.

For the record, I couldn't give a rat's ass about the two men and their probation. What does bother me is endemic and epidemic racism in a criminal justice system.

Evidence that has demonstrated this abounds, and when this case stares you in the face as yet another example, only the most blind, ill informed or disingenuous still avoid the obvious.

How'd you like the articles?

Don't bother answering. I know you didn't look. Might crack your eggshell thin belief that race doesn't matter.

Sorry, especially when it comes to the criminal justice system, it does.

Anonymous said...

I checked your material, the most modern statistic they have is 1997, 10 years ago, a full decade. That's not support much.

Nowadays, it happens that for bank robbery you get probation, mentality changes, maybe you should too.

Again, I don't see why this case show racism, it show that the black men had their chance ( again, I repeat, in your Amerikkka, a black man while on drugs probation can get a bank teller job! A bank teller job while on probation! ), and it applies to these girls too. I don't see why a crack-baby laws from the fuckup 80's got to do with it, but then again, I'm not biased.

I don't see your point, you are now saying that we should jail those girls because of the crack-baby laws?

Da Weaz said...

As I said, the issue is racism in the criminal justice system, and if the material that I provided doesn't deepen your perspective in that area, then you can't read.

The date of the material is not most critical, as there have been no substantial changes in policy since that report was made, other than working to eliminate mandatory minimums.

For some reason you seem to want to be a barnacle to repeat the same things over and over again, as if your point was new.

You seem hell bent on making some last point, even if your last point was made four posts ago.

But when it comes to providing evidence that someone was given probation for robbing a bank, you are silent.

Of course.

Where's the precedent?

If you want to be a troll, at least come with the evidence.

Show us that you are not just a persistent distraction from all that is relevant.

Anonymous said...

"other than working to eliminate mandatory minimums."

That's all they're talking about, actually most of their points are being worked on. I think it's common knowledge the the 80's where just bad, really bad. That's all they talk about, how bad these laws and era were dumb.

Actually, both article agree with me, probation is way better then locking up people on first offense like you advocate ( arguably, you advocate it only for white offender ).

I already mentionned that Ashley Vilchuck got probation for robbing a bank ( that sentence was in 2007 btw ).

http://www.county29.net/cms2/index.php?Itemid=230&id=5535&option=com_content&task=view

If you want an even weirder story, consider the case of Timothy Elliott, two time bank robber who won 1 million on the lottery while on probation.

Here his resume :

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/11/29/bank_robber_may_see_lottery_win_scratched/

Here, if you want a BLACK ( because I know you will ask ) bank robber who got probation ( actually he got even better, adjudication ) :

http://tdcaa.com/node/1778

He robbed a bank a year later after that.

Welcome to the new millenium.

Da Weaz said...

Yes, you did provide me with ONE case, but this case is DEFINITELY not the norm. Most situations do not look like this:

Buggage's plea agreement allowed the judge to give him a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, but Baird said he believed Buggage's explanation that he robbed the bank out of desperation to provide for his two children after he fled New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina.

There are no extraordinary circumstances in this case.

And please stop telling me my opinions about sentencing policy. You don't know what my positions are. But I am willing to say that racism (and there is a LONG history of it in the criminal justice system, from juvenile offenses through death penalthy cases), should be removed from the system.

Though you did find one extraordinary case based in part on an "Act of God," it still doesn't begin to explain the disparities between the SENTENCES given. The fact that the person was on probation DOESN'T MATTER as regarding a sentence FOR A NEW CRIME.

What happens IS THAT PROBATION IS REVOKED AND THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE IMPOSED.

So stop throwing out the straw man argument about probation. It is largely irrelevant to this case, especially when the two parties were only accomplices and not primary perpetrators of the crime.

Anonymous said...

"not primary perpetrators of the crime."

That's the thing, evidence proves that they were.

I can find more people who got probation for bank robbery, but alas, I can't change how biased you are.

Da Weaz said...

Sorry, primary perpetrators are people who conduct the robbery.

Maybe you should learn a little bit about law before you posit yourself as an authority on the matter.

By the way, how do you get excluded from bias?

Your trollish fixation on this site suggest that you have a real act to grind, especially as you are a one trick pony limiting your fixation to this one singular article.

And you talk about bias?

A repetitive troll?

Puh-leez.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, primary perpetrators are people who conduct the robbery."

Exactly, the judge decided handing the money was more important than taking it, if you read the sentencing, which you haven't, you'll see.

I'm excluded by biais because I didn't took side, I'm only wondering why this case is singled out by the NAACP ( except the fact that black people are involved, obviously ), and why all the "It's not America, it's Amerikkka" people like yourselves think the probation system is broken and racist.

Da Weaz said...

Read the "sentencing"? Really? Post the "sentencing" transcripts of all four defendants then.

And your denial of racism doesn't make you the slightest bit objective. It makes you naively religious in your blind faith in justice, though racial bias is found in nearly every critical study on the same.

As I said, your fixation on the matter reveals your obsessive bias.