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The Punishment Should Fit The Nut

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A Texas prosecutor is defending his aggressive
handling of the case against a man who was
sentenced to 16 years in prison for stealing a
candy car.

Smith County District Attorney Jack Skeen tells
The Dallas Morning News he bumped the theft
charge against Kenneth Payne to a felony
because of his 10-year record of 10 convictions
-- including theft, assault and possession of drugs.

One of the convictions was for stealing a bag of
Oreo cookies. The current case involved the theft
of a $1 Snickers bar from a grocery last December.
Payne was on parole for felony theft at the time.

Payne's attorney is promising to appeal the
sentence. University of Texas law professor
Robert Dawson says prosecution of the 29-year-
old Payne as a habitual criminal seems harsh. He
notes that it costs $14,000 a year to keep an inmate
in prison in Texas, and over 16 years "that probably
comes out to about $800 a peanut. That seems a
little high."
markaronhalt Uploaded 11/23/2008
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Tags: punishment

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