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The economy and violent crime

Yesterday, I mentioned that I would be watching for statistics on violent crime, looking at increases related to the bad economy.

Today, I saw this story on CNN about Bruce Windsor, an average guy, middle-class family man, local businessman, soccer coach, deacon in his church, and participant in Habitat for Humanity, who even helped build churches and orphanages in Brazil. No, Bruce is not a Californian – we shall have to tiptoe across the country to South Carolina. Bruce allegedly committed an armed robbery of a Greenville, SC bank, taking two women hostage. The surprise to police occurred when Bruce’s identity was revealed upon his arrest.

Windsor was in real estate and had been in financial trouble for years. He owed over $50,000 to contractors and suppliers. He had been trying to survive in a bad economy by doing real estate deals.

Bruce Windsor will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to send a clear message that “robbing a bank is not an answer.” He could receive 30 years in prison.

Flashback to the Great Depression…..

In the eyes of the American public of the day, many bankers and businessmen were viewed as criminals (perceptiveness? :-) ), and criminals of the depression era, such as John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Ma Barker gang of the midwestern United States, were often viewed as folk heroes. John Dillinger, the very dapper bank robber, was viewed by many as a Robin Hood of the “public enemy” era, and the exploits of all of these criminals were actively covered in the press and followed by the reading public. The disorganized law enforcement of the period gave way to the development of the modern FBI.

There is no excuse for the actions allegedly taken by Bruce Windsor of South Carolina.

Windsor will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law at the same time that many modern “corporate criminals” will receive large bonuses from taxpayer-financed bailouts totaling billions (over a trillion?) of dollars.

(Note added March 22, 2009: Trillions of dollars?)

Sorry, Bruce, that is just the way the system works, and you must have known that.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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