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In Mississippi: 15-Year Jail Sentence For Selling Pirated Movies and Music 339

New submitter patella.whack writes "A guilty plea for six counts of selling counterfeit media gets a defendant 15 years in Mississippi. An undercover reporter from the Attorney General's Intellectual Property Theft Task Force managed to buy a total of five copied movies and one music CD from the defendant, who had 10,500 pirated discs at home and two prior convictions: one for assaulting a police officer 17 years ago and one for CD piracy that got him a year under house arrest. Says the RIAA: '[This] highlights the fact that the individuals engaging in these activities are frequently serial criminals for whom IP theft is simply the most convenient and profitable way they could steal from others.' Frequently serial criminals? 15 years? I wonder how much of his sentence can be attributed to his priors rather than to other factors."
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In Mississippi: 15-Year Jail Sentence For Selling Pirated Movies and Music

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  • Three Strikes Laws (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:26PM (#41973629)

    These laws are dumb as shit since they make the judge irrelevant, as it takes away the courts power to hand down an appropriate sentence.

    Mississippi is a three strikes state. So this is another "20 years for jaywalking" piece of nonsense.

  • worse than rape (Score:5, Informative)

    by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:27PM (#41973635)

    "Prison sentences for rape are not uniform. A study made by the U.S. Department of Justice of prison releases in 1992, involving about 80 percent of the prison population, found that the average sentence for convicted rapists was 11.8 years, while the actual time served was 5.4 years. This follows the typical pattern for violent crimes in the US, where those convicted typically serve no more than half of their sentence.[11]"

    source: wikipedia []

  • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:34PM (#41973753) Homepage Journal

    Indeed. And I notice the /. summary, while it mentiones the 10,500 pirated disks they caught him with, doesn't mention the copying equipment. He was clearly in the business of piracy.

    Yeah, it's a long sentence for a white collar crime, but so was Bernie Madoff's 150 years, and many of the same people complaining this is too long complained that Madoff got off too easy.

    It's only a long sentence if you approve of the crime of commercial copyright infringement.

  • by HarrySquatter ( 1698416 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:50PM (#41973967)

    Easier sentence for murder? You realize that Federal punishment for second-degree murder is mandatory life imprisonment and first-degree is the death penalty or life imprisonment? Exaggerate much?

  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:53PM (#41974019) Homepage Journal

    While I agree that three strike laws shouldn't be, I don't think it runs afoul of double jeopardy and think that it, at most, would violate 'cruel and unusual'. Of course, unusual would be covered by it being state law 'impartially' applied, and 'cruel' is up to the justices of the supreme courts, state and federal.

    You see, double jeopardy is that you can't be tried twice for the [i]same[/i] crime, it doesn't mean that your past crimes can't be used to establish a pattern of behavior when sentencing for a new crime that you have duly been convicted of.

    Even without 3 strike laws, it has been traditionally been a judge's option to increase sentence for a repeat offender. 3 strikes, depending on the state, varies between allowing a judge to increase sentence even more to mandating high minimum sentences. The former is good when you get somebody who's obviously 'criminal scum' that's best kept behind bars even if the individual things he's been caught on are minimal. The latter is a tragedy when you get somebody dumb who does something like stealing a loaf of bread for the 3rd offense, or is still a drug/gambling addict*.

    *Medical condition in my view. It's certainly a more effective way to treat the problem.

  • by HarrySquatter ( 1698416 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @05:54PM (#41974057)

    At the Federal level, manslaughter is fines and/or up to 10 years. Rape is fines up to life imprisonment. First-degree murder is death penalty or life imprisonment and second-degree murder is life imprisonment.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:15PM (#41974307)

    Easier sentence for murder? You realize that Federal punishment for second-degree murder is mandatory life imprisonment and first-degree is the death penalty or life imprisonment? Exaggerate much?

    Federal penalties for murder seldom apply unless you cross a state line to commit same, or kill a mailman, and not even then in most cases.
    Its a state charge, and many liberal states have you out on the street in less than 20 years, much less if their prisons are overcrowded.
    (Don't even get me started on time off fir good behavior).

    New York, Albany EDU did a study(pdf-2006) [] and found that 20 years (244 months) is the Average maximum sentence imposed by state courts in the US for Murder and Non-Negligent manslaughter.

    Federal District courts in 2004 sentenced people [] to an average maximum of 111.2 months.
    Post sentence guideline reform the federal average has increased to the state average, and then some. Figures for 2010 [] show an average of 23 years handed down by federal district courts.

    So I don't know where you get that mandatory Life death penalty nonsense.

  • by Em Adespoton ( 792954 ) <> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @06:25PM (#41974457) Homepage Journal

    all of my family is in law enforcement, so i tend to agree with you. not saying there are not bad cops, i have just not met one.

    What about all those cops captured on video abusing their authority, lying about the facts, committing crimes, etc.?

    This comes under "Officers of the law, being from time to time exempt from statutes of the law, must be held to a higher standard than those who are under the law."

    On the other side of the argument:

    There are as of 2006, 683,396 full time state, city, university and college, metropolitan and non-metropolitan county, and other law enforcement officers in the United States. There are approx. 120,000 full time law enforcement personnel working for the federal government adding up to a total number of 800,000 law enforcement personnel in the U.S.

    How many cases of cops abusing their authority etc. have we seen? []
    3,240 Law enforcement officers cited in recorded police misconduct reports in first half of 2010.

    So, assuming that number is representative, we have approximately 0.8% of all police officers cited in misconduct cases per year. Note that this is *cited* meaning a complaint has been *lodged*. This means it includes unfounded complaints and misses unreported complaints. It also means that 99.2% of police officers are likely operating within their mandate, which means it's easily likely that someone who hangs out with a bunch of cops will never have met one of the "bad" ones.

    That said, being held to a higher standard and actually *being* a higher standard of human being are not the same thing. Due to the stressful type of job policing is and the personality type that gravitates toward the job, there's likely a statistically significant level of abuse that would go unnoticed in most parts of society, but is highly visible and unacceptable here.

  • by DM9290 ( 797337 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @07:10PM (#41975029) Journal

    In Canada, the average for first degree murders in 2002 was 22.4 years... We are pathetic

    In Canada first degree murder carries an AUTOMATIC life sentence with NO POSSIBILITY of parole for 25 years and there is absolutely ZERO discretion in sentencing.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.