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Thread: Food for thought?

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    lynx's Avatar .
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    PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) -- A New York man who pleaded guilty to murder in Oregon in exchange for buckets of fried chicken will get calzones and pizza to go with his life sentence.
    Tremayne Durham agreed to plead guilty to murder -- but only if he got a break from jail food.

    Tremayne Durham, 33, of New York City, admitted last month that he fatally shot Adam Calbreath, 39, of Gresham, in June 2006. Durham wanted to sell ice cream and ordered an $18,000 truck from an Oregon company. He later changed his mind, but the company wouldn't provide a refund.

    The would-be ice cream man came to Oregon and killed Calbreath, a former employee of the company, while looking for its owner, authorities said.

    Durham agreed to plead guilty to murder -- but only if he could get a break from jail food. The judge agreed and granted Durham a feast of KFC chicken, Popeye's chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, carrot cake and ice cream.

    After Wednesday's sentencing, Durham was to get the rest of the deal -- calzones, lasagna, pizza and ice cream, his defense attorney confirmed. They will pay the tab.

    Durham also got married Wednesday in a civil ceremony at the Portland courthouse. The wedding to Vanessa Davis, 48, also of New York City, was not part of the plea deal that will give Durham a chance for parole after 30 years.

    Deputy District Attorney Josh Lamborn said Multnomah County Judge Eric Bergstrom made the right call in allowing the unusual plea agreement because it saved the expense of a trial and possible appeals.
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    There are obvious grounds for appeal here, the intelligence of the person involved is certainly questionable.

    Tremayne Durham doesn't sound too smart either.
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    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    kiosk's Avatar Napster the Original
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    Unbelievable. You just couldn't make it up.



  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
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    After Wednesday's sentencing, Durham was to get the rest of the deal -- calzones, lasagna, pizza and ice cream, his defense attorney confirmed. They will pay the tab.
    Who is "they", the state or the convict?

    If it was the convict paying for the food I would have said great as a first reaction, saves us the cost of feeding him. The problem is that this is going to cost more in security checking for smuggled contraband. Especially if it becomes the norm. So not such a good idea and any money saved on court costs would be lost over the years served.

    One for the rolling eyes column I feel.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by devilsadvocate View Post
    After Wednesday's sentencing, Durham was to get the rest of the deal -- calzones, lasagna, pizza and ice cream, his defense attorney confirmed. They will pay the tab.
    Who is "they", the state or the convict?
    That's the question, I'd say.

    Truthfully, I see enough "creative" sentencing already that I feel much less trepidation over this.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    lynx's Avatar .
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    The problem is that it could be viewed as an inducement to plead guilty which is strictly illegal. That in itself could later be used as grounds for an appeal.

    Alternatively, who in their right mind would plead guilty just for a couple of slap up meals? An appeal on the grounds of insanity is another possibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    The problem is that it could be viewed as an inducement to plead guilty which is strictly illegal. That in itself could later be used as grounds for an appeal.

    Alternatively, who in their right mind would plead guilty just for a couple of slap up meals? An appeal on the grounds of insanity is another possibility.
    The guy had confessed his guilt a month prior. There was no question he was guilty.

    Also, since the defendant was the one offering the deal, no one can later say that the court, or State proposed the the plea deal as a sort of dangling carrot. And according to the "Deputy District Attorney Josh Lamborn", it was the right called to make as it eliminates the defendants eligibility for an appeal.



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  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skizo View Post
    The guy had confessed his guilt a month prior. There was no question he was guilty.

    Also, since the defendant was the one offering the deal, no one can later say that the court, or State proposed the the plea deal as a sort of dangling carrot. And according to the "Deputy District Attorney Josh Lamborn", it was the right called to make as it eliminates the defendants eligibility for an appeal.
    Was he given an inducement to confess? Is that where he got the idea from?
    I personally have no doubt that he was guilty, that isn't the point.

    The difficulty with the argument that the defendant made the offer is where you draw the line.

    Suppose there was a situation where a trial was going to be particularly complicated, and therefore very expensive. If the defendant says "this trial is going to cost you 10 million, I'll plead guilty for 5 million", do you pay him to save the extra money?
    Obviously, the answer is going to be no.

    In legal terms there is no line to be drawn, a small inducement is just as wrong as a large one. The fact that the defendant in this situation was a dumbass and only wanted a couple days gorging himself should make no difference. In fact being a dumbass actually works in his favour at a later appeal, because it could easily be argued that the DDA should have known better and took advantage of his naivety.
    Last edited by lynx; 08-15-2008 at 12:48 PM.
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  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
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    Lynx.

    I do understand what you are saying, or at least think I do, but we are talking a murder case here and even the most incompetent defense lawyer would be able to get a confession conviction overturned if there was no other evidence strong enough to convict.
    People make false confessions all the time and any confession given would need to be pretty tight with factual information so that a guilty killer is not roaming the streets to perhaps kill again. The judge will review the details as well, as far as I know it just removes the jury part, unless someone knows otherwise.
    Obviously the state would rather that someone they have evidence against owns up if they did it, this reduces the chance of a guilty person getting away with it at trial.

    I think in this case it's the unusual content of the deal that has drawn attention, but plea bargains are commonplace.

    In states with the death sentence sometimes a confession removes the death sentence for life without parole, what is your opinion on that? In this case the plea deal gave him a chance of parole after 30 years. 30 years at his age is really his life so he may have thought he had nothing to lose by going to trial and losing any chance of parole.

    Perhaps the guy knew he was caught, he would be going inside, knows how precarious life is in prison and used his only bargaining point for something he actually could use. He may be thinking of using the food for protection money. Prison life insurance.

    I could very easily go off in all sorts of directions here but I think I've rambled enough, for this post at least
    Last edited by devilsadvocate; 08-15-2008 at 08:02 PM.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    Deputy District Attorney Josh Lamborn said Multnomah County Judge Eric Bergstrom made the right call in allowing the unusual plea agreement because it saved the expense of a trial and possible appeals.

    The difficulty with the argument that the defendant made the offer is where you draw the line.

    Suppose there was a situation where a trial was going to be particularly complicated, and therefore very expensive. If the defendant says "this trial is going to cost you 10 million, I'll plead guilty for 5 million", do you pay him to save the extra money?
    Obviously, the answer is going to be no.

    In legal terms there is no line to be drawn, a small inducement is just as wrong as a large one. The fact that the defendant in this situation was a dumbass and only wanted a couple days gorging himself should make no difference. In fact being a dumbass actually works in his favour at a later appeal, because it could easily be argued that the DDA should have known better and took advantage of his naivety.
    The only thing I can add is that many such grounds can made forfeit by stipulation (on either or both sides), and, while there is nothing at all that defies future redress, the price ticket just went through the roof, 'cuz the state can fairly easily deny the obligation to pay for the type of legal talent required to challenge a reasonable and clear stipulation.

    Time will out, as they say.
    Last edited by j2k4; 08-16-2008 at 01:05 AM.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
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    Perhaps the legal system over there is much more different than I had realised.

    I'm pretty confident that in the UK any prosecutor (or even police officer) who publicly suggested accepting such an offer would have to be looking at either retirement or a major career change. Over here the rules are clear cut - no inducements. It doesn't matter where the suggestion came from.
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    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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