Friday, September 08, 2006

Six Months For Stealing Food From a Dumpster

Steamboat Springs Colorado
“Authorities on Wednesday released a New Hampshire man and his companion who were sentenced to six months in jail for plucking discarded fruit and vegetables from the trash after prosecutors said their vigorous prosecution was based on faulty information.”

The faulty information was that the produce “stolen” from the trash was worth considerably less than the $15 originally reported. One of the owners of the stolen trash informed them that it was, in fact, “worthless”.

Being destitute is a crime in the richest country on earth.

Note: I typed the first paragraph from my local paper but couldn't get a link to the story there. Notice that the link has the same information with slightly more information. Why the difference? I don't know.

Ummm ... I forget: are police allowed to search through trash without obtaining a warrant?

If so, then that's inconsistent with the dumpster being someone's property from which something could be stolen, eh?

Still -- why am I reminded of a certain Anatole France quote?
Um, how can taking something from the trash *ever* be considered stealing? The owner has already *discarded* it. What am I missing here???
You discount the fact that they were on their way to a festival of the Rainbow Family of Living Light.

If you think this is insignificant, consider that the government was opposed to the festival taking place. Those who were attending, or on their way to the event, were harassed in all manner of ways by police.

And still you don't say anything about cannabis prohibition, which is probably the largest factor in this very case. The Rainbow Family are pot smoking hippies. That is why they are opposed.
Wikipedia has more on the Rainbow Gathering.
eli, I know. I remember when I was a student. If there had been dumpsters back then, this could have been me at some low points, I don't dare think what would have happened that week if the second jar of wheat germ my mother had given me hadn't been there.

Whig, they are quite able to arrest any kind of destitute person. If they had a colorful association might matter to the fuzz, it doesn't matter to me.
alberich, I'm sure if they couldn't before now they soon will. Considering that Alito has no trouble with their strip searching a 10-year-old without a warrant, trash is going to be no problem.
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