Missouri Judge Frees Man State Forgot to Jail

Could this be anecdotal evidence to debate that rehabilitation of criminals and criminal behavior is better for society as a whole over the current method of punishment in a system that seems to breed additional criminal behavior?

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Black America Web

CHARLESTON, Mo. (AP) — Cornealious “Mike” Anderson spent 13 years free from prison due to a clerical error, then nearly a year behind bars when the mistake was caught. On Monday, he walked out of a southeast Missouri courtroom a free man again — this time with no need to look over his shoulder. Mississippi County Associate Circuit Judge Terry Lynn Brown needed just a 10-minute hearing before ruling that he was giving Anderson credit for time served for all 4,794 days between his conviction and when he was arrested last year.

The judge granted Anderson his immediate freedom. Anderson, 37, left the courthouse with his wife and 3-year-old daughter on one arm, his grandmother on the other, tears in all of their eyes.

“Very happy,” Anderson said as he climbed into a sport utility vehicle for the ride home to suburban St. Louis and a planned family celebration. “My…

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6 thoughts on “Missouri Judge Frees Man State Forgot to Jail

  1. So glad to read he’s been freed. I’d heard the “This American Life” segment about his travails and was sickened to think he’d have to continue doing hard time.

    As for your larger question–Yes. Of course. I would hope this country could grow up a little bit and at least TRY to rehab, rather than just punish, people caught committing a crime.

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    • Reading that he had been set free made me feel good, even better because the judge and prosecutor both agreed that parole wasn’t necessary or warranted.

      I think that our system sets people up for failure. We lock people away for almost any and everything. Employment for convicted citizens is damn near impossible unless you come from money or clout. People who have completed their sentences have to fight tooth and nail to have their rights restored.

      We basically make professional criminals for the prison industrial complex to reap profits, and nobody’s trying to solve the root problems that causes criminal behavior in the first place.

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  2. My experience is that Cornealious Anderson is the exception to the rule. Since he kept his nose clean in the passing years, I think setting him free is the right thing but most of those in his situation wouldn’t have taken advantage of their good fortune (the clerical error) by straightening themselves out. Rehabilitation is an admirable thing but the person has to be on board with be rehabilitated or nothing is going to come of it.

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    • I’d agree with your assessment a bit. I think the percentage of people who would fare better with rehab would be high enough to not make his case such an overwhelming exception. Likely not more than a 1 out of 5 percentage though.

      The minor crimes that have mandatory minimums probably churn out more criminals that may benefit from rehab than anything else. There will be the group that’s going to be criminal no matter what though, and nothing will help them.

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