October 25, 2021

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For 43 cents “theft”, a homeless man was sentenced to 7 years in prison – West-France evening edition

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

United States

Failure to pay 43 cents (0.37 cents) by purchasing a bottle of soda puts an American at risk of imprisonment. Under the laws in force in the state of Pennsylvania, that person has previously been convicted of similar facts. Descriptions.

(Map: Aust-France)

The story takes place in Pennsylvania, United States. In Perry County, a sign on the window of a gas station offers an attractive offer: two sodas for $ 3 (2.56). One or two, Joseph Sopolevsky, 38, did not push the door of the trade.

He grabs a bottle, leaves a two-dollar bill (€ 1.71) at the counter, and leaves believing he paid slightly more than the price he indicated. According to the US website, this is a place where everything changes for the homeless Penlive.

In fact, the price of a single bottle is $ 2.29 (1.95) and not $ 1.50 (1.28) as our man thinks. Suddenly, he “stole” a trader for 43 cents or 0.37 euros. To benefit from a bottle for $ 1.5, you need to buy a set of two sodas …

Three-stroke rule

The merchant who saw Joseph Sopolevsky warns the police. The latter is now in jail as scheduled in November. If he wants to be released, he needs a cash deposit of $ 50,000 (€ 42,640). Apparently, man does not have such an amount. The worst thing is that he could face up to seven years in prison.

In fact, the rule “Three feet” Actively implemented in the state of Pennsylvania. That is, if a person has already been convicted twice for theft, such a third offense would automatically be considered a felony punishable severely, regardless of the amount of the theft. It’s like killing without a license or carrying a gun.

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However, two other planes have already been included in the Thirty-One record. The first, ten years ago, left the gas station unpaid for fuel. Second, in 2011, he stole a pair of shoes.

The man has already been fined for both of his cases. This time he faces between three and a half to seven years in prison. The Penlive site reports that the station manager asked Joseph Sopholewski to add the 43 cents he allegedly refused.

“I think this is a misunderstanding”

What bothers me in this case is the absurd amount of “theft” that will be prosecuted against the homeless person. The prosecutor must now prove that this was not a misunderstanding and that Joseph Sopolevsky deliberately robbed the store.

On the part of the police, we protect ourselves by explaining that we are agents “The procedure is followed. They can not Decide if you can charge someone. “

Law is law, of course, but Brandon Flood, director of the State Parole Board, is somewhat sorry for the scale of the events : “There is no guilt in this case. I think this is a misunderstanding. Also, the very small amount of guilt proves this.” Before finishing : “There are better ways to handle this type of business.”

Perhaps a fancy way that taxpayers can better manage their money.