Something definitely needs to be done about copper theft, but I don't know if 60 years in prison for a non-violent crime is the solution. At an average cost to keep someone in prison excess of $40,000/year, this is going to cost taxpayers well over $2 million to keep him incarcerated. I'd be more inclined to let him go free, BUT require him to maintain employment and pay $10,000 a year (or more) back to the entity that he stole from.
To sentence a guy to essentially life in prison for stealing/damages to the tune of $205,000 compared to what sentences are awarded for really serious crimes just doesn't seem equitable. Then again, what about all these investment bankers and CEO's that are pillaging their companies in the tens of millions with nothing more than a slap on the hand. But that's a subject for a whole new thread.
Isn't it amazing? A few points rise in the market price, and we suddenly have far more "recycling" than we can handle! All done without having a 'commissioner,' or submitting invoices to some "green" group for their approval.
Otherwise, I'll not shed any tears for the convicted. Hard and unfair? Perhaps it seems that way - to him. Let's not forget all the hardship he unfairly inflicted upon his victims.
That others may evade punishment for their crimes has nothing to do with this. Indeed, I'd rather the fugitives fear, rather than the criminal have confidence in striking a 'deal' at our expense.
Enforced employment? Let me get this right ... the employer can lay off the law-abiding, but the crook would be guaranteed a job? I think not.
I'm surprised that the metal thieves haven't made off with the pure copper catenary lines they are installing along the new MAX line on I-205 here in Portland... A couple guys, a ladder and a truck could make off with a lot of copper very quickly.