In 2011, Pitch Magazine rated Kansas City as the 9th most dangerous city in the United States. They claimed that the crime rate was three times higher than the national average, and they cited crime statistics from the FBI. From 2008 to 2009, Kansas City saw a 4% increase in aggravated assault cases and an 11% increase in forcible rape cases.
The Punishment May Not Match the Crime
What statistics don’t tell is the story behind the crime. And, even when an individual admits guilty to a crime, the punishment can be wildly disproportionate. In 2014, Listverse wrote an article titled “10 Absurd Punishments for Mundane Crimes.” The article told the stories of individuals who committed crimes and were then punished either far beyond what was reasonable — or just in downright strange ways. Those stories included:
- Ricky Joe Moore shoplifted a hot dog from a convenience store. He was arrested on a felony theft charge and faced a prison sentence between six months and three years.
- Betina Young sold fake ID cards and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Instead of sentencing her to 15 years in prison, as is the standard, the judge placed her on probation, fined her $3,000, and ordered that she spend three days in jail every Christmas for five years.
- While Judge Robert Restaino was holding a court proceeding, a cell phone went off in the room. When no one silenced it or claimed it as their own, he quickly became frustrated. He ordered that the phone be brought to the front of the room. When no one complied, he arrested all 46 people in the courtroom.
While these stories may be entertaining, the sad reality is that there are everyday people who face punishment far worse than the crimes they commit. And, in many cases, innocent people face jail time for the crimes committed by others.