The seven robbers

Screen grab from security cam footage inside Huber Heights Cell phone store while being robbed on Feb 1, 2018 by 7 young men from Dayton and Trotwood

On Thursday, seven young men, only one over 18, decided to go on a crime spree in Huber Heights a suburb of Dayton Ohio, that used to proudly pride itself on being America’s largest community of brick homes. They were black young men. From Dayton and Trotwood. They’d met playing football as kids. One, the 18 year old, was supposed to be making a recruiting visit to a D-1 school for football this weekend. Instead, he’s in jail.

They robbed a cell phone store. Wearing masks, carrying guns. Pistols to long guns. A gun was thrust into an employees face. Threats were made. They drove off with cell phones.

Think about it for a minute. Cell phones. Devices that by their nature have a unique ID, and act as a homing device when activated. To activate them, you have to connect to one of four cell networks. These devices are infinitely traceable. To be used, they are tracked. Stealing cell phones is stupid. Insanely stupid.

But stupid isn’t their only problem, they chose to rob the cell phone store right in the middle of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team training. So far, they are 0-2 for luck and smarts.

Of the seven, the news reports three had no records, or only misdemeanors. Four had previous felonies. The guns will guarantee minimum three year mandatory sentences. The fact they are black, guarantees even more time will be thrown their way- to set an example, to show we’re tough on crime, to make sure that they learn the error of their not-quite-yet fully formed brains malfunctioning logic managers.

If I steal these cell phones with my 6 friends, we’re somehow going to become….

Does that even start to compute to you? Even if they scored 100 phones, all top of the line, that retail for $1000 each, that’s 100,000, split it six ways and that’s $16,666 each- at full retail, which fenced goods never get.

You know that as a nation we generally suck at math.

But, lets look at the real costs of our seven robbers 15 minutes of fame.

First, we have to wonder, how did they get the guns? How much did they cost? And think, that in this world of CCW and of cops proclivities to shoot young black males with guns (even toy guns- Tamir Rice anyone), that they are all lucky to still be alive and not perforated. We know that guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people- but in this case, people with guns killed at least three years of their lives with a mandatory sentence of three years.

Three years, seven robbers, 21 years of prison which in Ohio, which ranks 25th in the highest cost to incarcerate a prisoner for a year,

#25. Ohio
Average Annual Cost Per Inmate: $25,814
Average Daily Inmate Population: 50,960
As part of inmate education, prisoners in Ohio now have access to educational videos that can be downloaded to their tablets, which are owned by the prison and distributed to students.

Source: State by state: How much does it cost to keep someone in prison?

That’s $542,094 of your tax dollars to house, feed, secure and “rehabilitate” seven dumb kids.

Note, this doesn’t include the costs of the damage done to the business, the cost of the cops, the cost of the lawyers, judges, trials, housing in the jail and juvy during the long drawn out process of trials, plea bargains, evidence gathering, detective work. You can throw a figure at it, it will be wrong, but, I’m guessing at least a million bucks will be spent, before a single one heads from Montgomery County to the big house to start doing time.

$1.5M, divide that by 7, it’s about $214,000 each.

That’s your tax dollars being spent, to teach these kids a lesson.

And that’s just with the minimum 3 year gun spec. Add in additional years, for assault, theft, and even the “kidnapping” possibility- and you’ll have many more years in prison. And what happens in prison? Kids, end up living with other criminals. Lots of them. Older than them, bigger than them, more criminally experienced. Prison is no walk in the park, and by the time they get out- at 21 if they are lucky, older if not, they will be faced with trying to get a job, build a life, become a member of a society that already “made an example” of them. Most, will end back in jail, or dead, or lead a very hard life.

Each of them stole $16K- each of us will be on the hook for $214K minimums. Do you see the math fail? How does 15 minutes of stupidity cost us so much?

And how did they get to where they are? Some call it “the school to prison pipeline.” A system rigged to fail young poor kids, to keep a huge corporate beast fed a steady diet of fresh young souls to fill their jail cells. In this country, we think that locking people up is the best solution, or at least our numbers say that- since we lock up more of our citizens in the “Land of the free, home of the brave” than any other 1st world country.

A more reliable way to compare incarceration practices between countries is the prison population rate. Even by that measure, the United States had the highest prison population rate in the world, at 716 per 100,000 people. More than half the 222 countries and territories in the World Prison Population List, by the U.K.-based International Center for Prison Studies, had rates below 150 per 100,000.

Source: Yes, U.S. locks people up at a higher rate than any other country – The Washington Post

Let’s do a little math at the Ohio annual rate: The US has 2,145,100 inmates– at $25,814 per year. That’s $55,373,611,400 per year. $55 Billion dollars a year, that isn’t spent on roads, schools, health care for all, or….

Back in my day, when I was their age, there were still people enlisting in the military who were given a choice by a judge- join the army or go to prison. We were at peace, so it wasn’t a possible death sentence then, and one thing about the military is- it does an amazing job of taking young men (and in my time- women too) and changing their world. All of a sudden, all vestiges of social class, upbringing, status, popularity, athleticism go out the door as you are processed from Jody off the block into a trained defender of god and country. The cost? Which we, as a nation seem only too happy to pay-

A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report shows that the average cost to maintain an active duty soldier is now $99,000 a year, a 31 percent jump between 2000 and 2014.

Source: Report Shows Military Personnel Costs Spiraling Out of Control

So, yes, it costs us more by a factor of almost 4 to maintain a soldier, but we need soldiers, we don’t need criminals. But the problem is, today’s kids from the inner city- looking to escape poverty by enlisting- aren’t even qualified to stop bullets. They’re too stupid.

But today, more than two-thirds of America’s young people wouldn’t qualify for military service because of physical, behavioral, or educational problems.

The services have long required at least a high-school education as a prerequisite for joining.

The Army used to offer GED assistance for recruits who wanted to join. These days, having a felony conviction is out of the question, but so are some tattoos, gauged earlobes, and taking hyperactivity medication. The Pentagon says 71 percent of America’s 34 million 17-24 year old population would fail to qualify for enlistment.

Source: Here’s why most Americans can’t join the military – Business Insider

With even that avenue closing to our seven robbers, what is left?

We have historical precedent for what to do with our seven robbers from the Greek menologies:

The Seven Robbers (Latin: Septem latrones) were martyrs on the island of Corcyra (Corfu) in the 2nd century AD. Their names were Saturninus, Insischolus (Jakischolus), Faustianus, Januarius, Marsalius, Euphrasius, and Mammius.

The Greek menologia (calendars of the saints) inform us that Sts. Jason and Sosipater, who had been instructed in Christianity by the Apostles or by Jesus himself, came to the island of Corcyra to preach Christianity. After making numerous conversions they were cast into a dungeon where the above-named seven robbers were imprisoned. They succeeded in converting the robbers who were then taken outside the city and martyred by being cast into cauldrons that were filled with seething oil and pitch.

Source: Seven Robbers – Wikipedia

Cauldrons of oil and pitch- burning them alive was the reward for being converted. That makes no sense to me either, nor does martyrdom. Making examples of 7 young men, who we as a society have failed at all points, wasn’t the answer then, nor is it now.

If this country was better at math, we’d figure out that the costs of poverty, mental illness, incarceration, stupidity of our citizens far outweigh the costs of a guaranteed minimum income, a single payer health care system and mandatory universal service for all, with the reward of a complete, free, education all the way through doctoral studies. Yes, we will still have prisons, because some people are inherently evil (I personally experienced this last year when my office manager stole from me an the disabled veteran I have power of attorney over- and went uncharged by a grand jury in Montgomery County- she’s not black and male), but the people we’ll lock up will have actually done things like killed innocent people, or raped children, or stolen huge amounts of money- causing the collapse of our economy like all those Wall Street geniuses, oh, wait….

Before we cast the seven robbers into the cauldron, maybe we should figure out what we’re cooking, because in the grand scheme of things, the end product isn’t any more edible than the raw inputs.

Stupidity costs us all.

 

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Bill KirbyIce BanditDianeDavid Lauritruddick Recent comment authors
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Tracy
Tracy

You gotta be kidding? You brought up that ” bla k males getting killed by police and comparison to Tamir Rice” in this article ? Hell, you left out Johnny ‘just buying s’mores’ Crawford was well since you are trying to draw a dumb correlation to this article. How are they getting guns David? They are stealing the guns, that’s how they are getting the guns. Plus these fine youths are the same who broke into the Buckle store at the Greene and then led police on dangerous high speed chase. All 7 need prison time and they will get in Greene county versus probation and a medal in Montgomery county. Get your head out of your ass and stop making excuses for criminals. You act like cops just want to go out everyday and shoot a black man. You really gotta stop with that nonsense.

Bill Daniels
Bill Daniels

David, Go watch “Repo Man” again and see what Otto’s response is when his friend who got shot robbing a liquor store claims “I blame society– society made me what I am.” Gotta agree with the suggestion that you ” get your head out of your ass and stop making excuses for criminals”.

Tracy
Tracy

The more I read your comments, it sure seems that your are trying to say that “these silly ol’ kids were just being kids and if you look at the coat ratio for putting them in prison, well they were just being dumb kids. ” Unfortunately 4 of the 7 have serious felony records and I am guessing they will all be tried as adults in one jurisdiction, most likely Springfield or Greene county and do much more time than7 years. So if the mamma who had the theatrics in the juvenile court room thought 7 years was bad for her poor baby, she better buy some foam to keep passing out on because it’s going to get a whole lot worse. Put these robbing scumbag gun carrying turds in prison for life where they belong. Just a matter of time before they killed someone.

Follow up
Follow up
Dave C
Dave C

It’s a shame the tub-o-lard security cop from the library wasn’t available to stop this crew…….

truddick
truddick

Seems likely that we should consider another factor.

The only adult in this case, as noted, was a standout HS football player who was up for potential scholarship–so I guess it’s fair to conclude that his co-conspirators were mostly also football players.

Keep in mind that almost every football player gets brain damage due to the chronic encephalophathy. that accumulates from every repeated hit in football. It doesn’t take a concussion, it takes hitting the ground (as in a routine tackle) again and again, or colliding with another player running at you, or even colliding in the line thrust. The brain rattles inside the skull, it gets stretched, it gets minor damage that adds up again and again.

No helmet design will prevent it.

If we don’t find more intelligent sports, we will continue to have brain-damaged men. And it will cost us all, not only in costs from criminal justice from in the loss of potential productive activity in business or research.

David Lauri

I know I shouldn’t. There’s never any satisfaction from posting here. The regular commenters here are stupid and incompassionate. And racist as well.

Donald Trump Jr. is 40-something and yet when he allegedly haplessly meets with Russians, people say, oh, Junior’s just a kid.

These kids are literally kids, not privileged sons of a president, and people here say they should go to prison.

We live in a country where rich white men get second chances and are just kids but where poor black kids get no chances but should be tried as adults.

When I first read this post and its comments, I adhered to my usual policy of not commenting on Esrati.com because it’s futile. But then this morning I read something from another perspective, that of a friend who despite not having privilege has made a success of her life. I already know what most of you here will say about her and what she wrote — that she had no privilege (well you won’t say “privilege” because you neither know what that is nor would believe in it if you did) but managed to do well in life. If that’s what you take away from her post, then yeah, you’ve fulfilled my expectations of you.

Katy Crosby, whom I’m proud to know, writes, “While they may be deserving of punishment for their crimes, they are not deserving of us turning our backs on them because they were young, hopeless and were not afforded the nurturing necessary for them to think through the consequences of their actions.” Read her story at: https://www.facebook.com/katycrosby/posts/10159969455870593

Diane
Diane

Donald Trump, Jr., forced an innocent bystander to the ground and held a gun to his head?

Oh, I must have missed that.

Ice Bandit
Ice Bandit

…as usual, David, you are wrong. These kids aren’t going to the slammer “to teach them a lesson.” They are going to be warehoused, hopefully for a long time, to keep the rest of us safe. As a sidebar, it is amazing and perplexing the hate the left has for cops and the mental gymnastics they engage in to excuse the most sociopathic of lawbreakers. From the “brain damage from football” (made without proof or examination) excuse to the “not nurtured” defense, it’s a veritable excuseapalooza…

Bill Kirby
Bill Kirby

While your mathematical logic here is inescapable, so too is the simple fact that you offer no alternative. What are we as a society to do in situations like this? Laugh at their antics, then give them a good spanking, and take away their cell phones for a month? I too am uncertain where the answer lies, but for the time being I must also note that part of our current problem seems to me to be that not enough miscreants pay a steep enough price for serious crime. In other words, the equation of weighing risk against return right now really is quite decent for these guys and most others. While it is true that this is a high profile case, a factor which generally increases our retribution, average punishment is usually pretty light and worth the gains. And criminals…of all ages…are very aware of that simple truism. I’m sure we can all offer examples, but I know of one right here (Montgomery County, one of Mr. Heck’s few attempts, let alone successes!): Davel “Tony” Chinn, convicted of our most heinous crime of murder, having intentionally shot and killed one Brian Jones to avoid detection; he was sentenced in 1989 and is STILL being housed on death row after exhausting more appeals than I can imagine and being rejected at every attempt. So where’s the justice…and what do we do to change it?