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Crime Idle

South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago 467

Posted by samzenpus
from the beyond-the-late-fee dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Could you imagine being arrested for failing to return a movie you rented 9-years earlier? Well that's just what happened to one South Carolina woman. 'According to a Feb 13 arrest report, 27-year-old Kayla Finley rented Monster-in-Law in 2005 from now defunct video store Dalton video. The woman failed to return the video within the 72 hour rental limit, eventually leading up to her arrest 9 years later.'"
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South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago

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  • a movie you renter 9-years earlier?

    I think that statement is worthy of jail time as well.

  • Debt (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:24PM (#46263463)

    I thought you couldn't be arrested for owing debt? Wasn't that the point of credit scores and bankruptcy laws?

  • by jayveekay (735967) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:30PM (#46263515)

    Arresting someone for theft under $10 ("Monster-In-Law" on DVD retails for about $5) seems to be a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars. A more efficient punishment would be to seize wages/tax refunds/etc. in the amount of the theft + some additional punitive amount.

  • by thrillseeker (518224) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:36PM (#46263545)
    They always have a choice.
  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:39PM (#46263569) Journal

    No statute of limitations for most crimes in South Carolina. Failure to return rental property of a value of less than $2000 is a misdemeanor carrying up to a $1000 fine and/or 30 days in jail. Probably a few bonus months for failure to appear back in 2005. And she gets to forever in the future check that box "I have been convicted of a crime" and therefore no good jobs for her, and since it's an FDIC disqualifying crime (larceny), she's forever barred from having a job in the financial industry.

    And you know what most people will have to say about that? "Well, she should have thought of that before she stole that videotape".

    (IANAL, and certainly IANAL in South Carolina)

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:42PM (#46263575) Homepage Journal

    I wonder how many of the same people think that corporations getting off scott free after illegally foreclosing on homes is just okay dokey...

  • by tompaulco (629533) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:26PM (#46263817) Homepage Journal

    Probably a few bonus months for failure to appear back in 2005

    Well, if she was properly served, then she definitely should have appeared. If she was not properly served, than the case should be thrown out.

  • by tompaulco (629533) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:29PM (#46263833) Homepage Journal
    I once had to pay $50 for two redbox DVDs which I did properly return. Apparently their machine didn't register it or got disconnected from the internet. They also said they audited the box and did not find the videos. However, their audit was incorrect, because I returned it. I don't do business with redbox anymore.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:33PM (#46263857)
    Police DO NOT have discretion with arrest warrants, they never have and they NEVER SHOULD.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:40PM (#46263931)

    Police with no discretion are worse than those who are corrupt.

    At least the ones with discretion can pretend they choose not to do wrong.

    The ones without? Will do wrong, and pretend that their orders made them do it, so they have no choice.

    I prefer authority with responsibility myself.

  • by blue trane (110704) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:45PM (#46263961) Homepage Journal

    If lenders refuse to make markets, the government (or the Fed) should step in and make them. If private banks refuse to make mortgage loans, Fannie and Freddie should do it, because it's in the public interest, in the General Welfare. The Fed can loan them money at 0% so they can invest in T-bills at 3% and keep the loans rolling over forever.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:46PM (#46263965) Homepage

    1) The victim is whoever absorbed the assets of the company at its closing. They've lost the value of the tape.

    2) Being a licensed rental copy, the replacement cost is in the range of a hundred dollars or more.

    The basic issue is that the law doesn't get to be ignored just because the media can spin the story to sound trivial. If someone robbed a store of $100 worth of merchandise, had an arrest warrant issued at the time, then spent nine years on the run, would it still be unreasonable for them to be arrested today? At the most basic level, the purpose of law is to provide a consistent accounting of what behavior society does or does not approve of. If a magistrate chose to neglect an old outstanding arrest warrant, then there'd be something very wrong.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @11:48PM (#46263973)
    No, it's not a violation of the law to exercise discretion. The police have sued many times for that right (and almost always win), so they could have used it this time as well. They chose not to.
  • Re:Debt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:21AM (#46264137)

    This wasn't owing a debt, it was plain old theft.

    Keep in mind that it's hard to return a movie to a defunct video chain.

  • Re:Debt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zynder (2773551) on Monday February 17, 2014 @01:25AM (#46264359)
    Keep making excuses for jack-booted thuggery. You're part of the problem, not the solution. There should not have been a warrant issued to begin with!
  • Re: Debt (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2014 @01:45AM (#46264455)

    So you excuse her theft then blame it on THE MAN keeping everyone under bootheels?

    You aren't part of the problem, you are the entire problem.

  • Re:Debt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2014 @01:47AM (#46264461)

    So you take something. The owner asks for it back. You refuse. You stole it.

    The owner goes to a court to sue you to get it back, because the value is too low for a state prosecutor to care. You ignore the suit. The judge issues an arrest warrant at the request of the owner. The owner then politely sends you several certified letters impressing upon you your duty to resolve the issue. You ignore those letters, and in particular ignore an order of the court.

    Later, you're arrested and forced to appear in court.

    How is that thuggery? For one thing, the police aren't even involved, just the sheriff (an officer of the court). This is old school justice, where the person wronged has to do all the leg work in court to vidicate his rights. This is how things were done long before jack-booted police even existed.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Monday February 17, 2014 @02:02AM (#46264523) Homepage

    What's more, the cops should figure out a way to get him at least a few menial jobs where he is paid in food so he can feed his family without having to resort to stealing.

    Ah, so the police are social workers as well? They'll be glad to know that. Think about that for a moment. Yes, the police should have compassion towards people, but no, they aren't mommy, daddy, the rich uncle and everyone else in the extended family. They're police.

    In this case, they did the absolute minimum needed. They arrested her, then let her go. She will probably end up with a small fine and a slap on the wrist - as befits the crime of stealing a VHS tape. Life goes on.

    Apparently, however, there is little life left in Slashdot. Is this newsworthy at all? It's basically click bait. Come on guys, there are better articles in this in the Firehose.

  • Re: Debt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Monday February 17, 2014 @04:05AM (#46264957)

    So you excuse her theft then blame it on THE MAN keeping everyone under bootheels?

    You aren't part of the problem, you are the entire problem.

    Troll, troll, troll... punishment should be in proportion to the crime and filing arrest warrants over DVD or video-tape theft is bloody ridiculous. If she really lost the movie or whatever, the owners of the movie rental shop should have taken her to small claims court, gotten her sentenced to compensate them for the loss of the movie end of story.

  • by N1AK (864906) on Monday February 17, 2014 @04:26AM (#46265033) Homepage

    I have had police let me go for being drunk or stoned in public before, simply because I wasn't causing problems and they have bigger fish to fry.

    I've had the police let me go for jumping a red directly in front of a police car (not quite as retarded as it sounds honest). You, and I, could see that as the police prioritising their time and a good thing. The fact that it has been shown, again and again, that discretion isn't applied equally to different races and genders should make us reconsider that though. I shouldn't be getting an easier ride from law enforcement because I'm white middle class than someone who is black lower class, but 'discretion' encourages exactly that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2014 @05:09AM (#46265173)

    On SoylentNews, our editors read the feedback we get and correct our mistakes. In fact, we read the feedback we get on other sites too [slashdot.org]!

    Thanks for checking us out!

  • Re:Debt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:44PM (#46267725) Journal

    This is bull. What's missing here is all sense of proportion. I'd love to have my former employers who owe me thousands of dollars in back pay thrown in jail. But it will never happen. Can bring a suit, and win it, but it doesn't matter, their companies are broke. Can't do anything more, like have a warrant issued. And there's this minor matter of the statue of limitations. Why wasn't this warrant voided after some appropriate time, like 7 years? Those former employers get off after only 4 years.

    It cost us, the taxpayers, far more money than that video tape was worth to process this warrant. Justice is not served when actions taken in the name of justice cause far more damage and expense than they save and deter. Zero tolerance has its place, and this isn't it. That video rental company should never have had the power to sic the police on anyone, not for that. That they could have such power is all the more reason to pirate. And the police need to be reminded who their real bosses are: the public.

  • Re: Debt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zynder (2773551) on Monday February 17, 2014 @10:56PM (#46272973)
    This is the proper solution for this problem. One of the USA's greatest problems regarding law is that every single crime ends up being a felony these days. Being a felon carries some big penalties like not being able to own firearms or to vote. Now why would THE MAN want to do that hmm? Thanks for kicking that troll Savage! Friended :)

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