Justice in America: 8 Years for Stealing Cheese, 35 Years for Marijuana Possession

by | Mar 9, 2010 | Headline News | 7 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Several recent news stories bring into question our so-called justice system.

    Last week Robert Ferguson of California was sentenced to 8 years in prison for  steeling cheese:

    A California man has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison for stealing a $3.99 bag of shredded cheese in a case critics say shows the need for reform of the state’s criminal justice system and the overcrowded state of its prisons.

    Robert Ferguson, who prosecutors say has a nearly 30-year record of convictions for burglary and other offences, avoided a life sentence under the state’s controversial “three strikes” law after a psychological evaluation deemed him bipolar and unable to control his impulses to steal, the Sacramento Bee reported.

    Mr. Ferguson is a career criminal that has spent nearly 20 years in prison on and off, but is an 8 year sentence for steeling cheese justified? He could have gotten life in prison but got off on a technicality.

    We’re not suggesting that criminals should not be punished, especially those who have violated the property rights of others, but eight years?

    The sentence in this case was based not necessarily on the crime he just committed, but a combination of this crime and past crimes he committed. Double jeopardy anyone?

    Mr. Ferguson should certainly spend some time in jail for his crime against the property of another, that is not being argued. But in a country purported to be the beacon of freedom for the rest of the world, what does it say about our society when we have the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world?

    Granted, Mr. Ferguson committed an act against another. But what do we say about the justice served to people like Walter Wooten of Texas, who this week was sentenced to 35 years in prison for possession of marijuana?

    For being caught with just over a quarter pound of pot, 54-year-old Henry Walter Wooten will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, thanks to a jury in Tyler, Texas.

    His prosecutor, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Richard Vance, originally sought a sentence of 99 years over the 4.6 ounces of marijuana police found in Wooten’s vehicle, according to published reports.

    Wooten was reportedly caught smoking pot within 1,000 feet of a day care center, within the radius of a so-called “drug free zone.” Tipped off by the smell, police would later search the man’s vehicle, only to discover his cannabis stash and a digital scale, according to The Tyler Morning Telegraph.

    The difference between steeling cheese and smoking or possessing marijuana is quite clear. With the cheese thief, we have someone who violated the property rights of another. Who is the victim in Mr. Wooten’s case? It seems that it is Mr. Wooten himself.

    While corporate financial leaders rob the American people blind and elected politicians sell their souls for campaign donations without so much as an investigative inquiry, a pot smoker like Mr. Wooten has his life literally taken away for engaging in an activity that harms no one, except, arguably, himself.

    While it is easy to read news stories like these and suggest that they “got what’s coming to them,” we as individuals often fail to look in the mirror.

    Everyone reading this post has broken the law, most of us will probably break a local, state or federal law today, and not even know it. Luckily, the prosecutors will not bring justice to you, as they did to Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Wooten, because if they did, you might be spending time in prison for misplacing a “0” on your tax return, or going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, or spanking your kid on the butt.

    Perhaps you posted a comment on a web site with a racial undertone making you a hate criminal. Maybe you incited violence, even though you didn’t think you did, someone else construed it as such.

    Maybe you tried to intimidate or coerce someone with the idea that certain government policies are tyrannical, and if you did, you may have committed a violation under Patriot Act. You probably won’t be prosecuted for it — yet.

    And for those who haven’t ever broken a law here in America, and never plan on doing so, watch what you say. According to Article 29 of the United Nations Declaration Universal Declaration of Human Rights you would be in violation of UN policy if your thoughts, writings or actions are exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Thus, you may very well be a criminal of the world and you may be sent to a world court, where justice for your crimes against humanity will be swift and severe.

    The justice system in America (and the rest of the world) is not black and white. There is a lot of gray area, especially when we deal with “crimes” that have no direct victims to speak of.

    Dictionary.com defines justice as:

    the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness

    Were the sentences imposed on Mr. Ferguson and/or Mr. Wooten righteous, equitable or morally right?

    Perhaps instead of justice, we should call it what it really is: a system of punishment and tyranny.


    It Took 22 Years to Get to This Point

    Gold has been the right asset with which to save your funds in this millennium that began 23 years ago.

    Free Exclusive Report
    The inevitable Breakout – The two w’s

      Related Articles


      Join the conversation!

      It’s 100% free and your personal information will never be sold or shared online.


      1. NO VICTIM – NO CRIME!

      2. More reasons to organize against the corrupt, out of control  institutions that substitute for government in America.

        Our local and state governments are just as bad as the FEDS. They are out of wack at evrey level. I remember many years ago here in Arizona, I caught the TV interview of the leader of the State Senate respond to a reporter asking how the Legislature had fared during the session. I will never forget his response as long as I live: “It was great! We passed 400 new laws!”

        400 NEW laws? Thats insane! Even God only wrote ten ……

      3. Zuk, agreed on ALL levels of govt being out of whack.

        My wife’s uncle down here in the Houston area is a  mayor of a suburb just south of the big city and last Easter we were sitting around discussing the Federal government — it was right around the time they were getting ready to bailout GM and all the stimulus hoop-law and Tea Parties were getting cranking.

        I, as I usually do at family gatherings, was throwing down some personal views on the matter and was basically ripping the FedGov’s ass. I didn’t want to get the Mayor to fired up, so i added a caveat of “I am not sure how the local government is, but on a Federal level, it’s a total disaster”

        He looked at me, smiled, and said it is the same in every level of government and it is difficult to make any meaningful changes. As I suspected, the problem is with the so-called “representatives” and their hunger for power, recognition and social status. The goal for most reps is not to make changes, but to ensure their own political survival.

        A good place to start, in my opinion:  TERM LIMITS.

        No, it won’t solve everything, but it would at least put a little balance and forced cross-check into the system.

      4. I don’t know what to be more upset about, the fact that the gentleman who stole cheese is getting 8.5 years or that he’s getting anytime at all due to being bipolar!! Oh that’s right, we don’t actually help people with disorders, we lock them up and throw away the key! Of course this bipolar thing may have been a convenient excuse to keep him out of an extended prison sentence, but this is just one case.

        The reason why Walter Wooten got 35 years was because he smoked pot so close to a daycare center. Very stupid thing to do because any jury today would throw the book at him knowing that. They have been conditioned to do so.

        Term limits and campaign finance reform are my biggies. If you don’t stop the revolving door between Congress and Wall St then all other reforms are dead in the water.

      5. Theoretically we already have term limits, as you know, Mac. Its called: elections. I think the problem is the nature of the rules and regs controlling how legislators get elected, stay elected,  and conduct  business. The two party system doesn’t work.  We need viable third and fourth parties so we get a coalition government.

        Agreed. The revolving door between government and Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex must end. Corporate governance needs reform too. There should be a limit, say two boards, that directors can sit on for unrelated public entities. Stockholder rights need to be strengthened too, because Corporations have taken advantage of passive investors, i.e. pension funds, that have OUR money in them. Neither should corporations be allowed to have an unfunded liability toward its pension fund, while the CEO’s are reaping tens of millions of dollars in salaries, bonuses, and perks.

        These are the people that have robbed America.

      6. People used to think it was necessary to “spank” adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is “spanked”, but only if over the age of 18.

        For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won’t list them all here. One can use the resources I’ve posted if they want to learn more.

        Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

        Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled “spanking”,”swatting”,”switching”,”smacking”, “paddling”,or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

        Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

        I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

        There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

        Plain Talk About Spanking
        by Jordan Riak,

        The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
        by Tom Johnson,

        NO VITAL ORGANS THERE, So They Say
        by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

        Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at http://www.nospank.net.

        Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

        American Academy of Pediatrics,
        American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
        American Psychological Association,
        Center For Effective Discipline,
        Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
        Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
        Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
        Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
        United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

        In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

      7. Heres one for you.  My daughter & her bf came home one night fighting.  He came in the door first at 3am, dogs barked, I got up, he proceeded to tell me that they were fighting so I offered him a ride home and he said no he wanted to call his dad.   I gave him my cell phone, then my daughter walked in all beat up.  I told her to go to her room as the bf called his dad.  I turned to go get a drink of water as her bf  booked it down the hallway kicking in her door and proceeded to beat her with his fists.  I started down the hallway when he ran at me, head butted me knocked me unconscious.  I came to, scared, went for my cell and out the front door immediately dialing 911.  Talking to the operator, I noticed my car with windshield bashed in, bf comes flying out front door.  Im relieved and my daughter comes out and punches him and breaks his nose.  Cops show up, threaten to arrest me, arrest my daughter and he goes to the hospital.  $1000 damages.  Go figure.

      Commenting Policy:

      Some comments on this web site are automatically moderated through our Spam protection systems. Please be patient if your comment isn’t immediately available. We’re not trying to censor you, the system just wants to make sure you’re not a robot posting random spam.

      This website thrives because of its community. While we support lively debates and understand that people get excited, frustrated or angry at times, we ask that the conversation remain civil. Racism, to include any religious affiliation, will not be tolerated on this site, including the disparagement of people in the comments section.