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  1. #1
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    Default SHE WAS CAUGHT STEALING GAS




    http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/07/31/si....ap/index.html

    Woman ordered to wear sign declaring her crime

    SALISBURY, Maryland (AP) -- A woman who stole $4.52 worth of fuel was ordered to stand outside the gas station Friday wearing a sandwich board sign that declared: "I was caught stealing gas."



    Sherelle Purnell obeyed the court order, although by the time she arrived 90 minutes late to her noon sentence, the crowd of people that gathered to watch her had dispersed.

    "There were parents who came with their children, wanting to teach them a lesson," said Jan Phipps, manager of Gordy's Tiger Mart, which pushed for the unorthodox punishment.

    Purnell, 18, who was caught on surveillance tape speeding away from the gas pump, walked along the convenience shop's grassy storefront as passing drivers honked horns and made catcalls.

    Andrew Black, who stopped by on his lunch break, was critical of the punishment and converted an old beer poster into a sign protesting high gas prices.

    "What is this, the Middle Ages?" said Black.

    Purnell declined to comment.

    Some passers-by considered the punishment to be a good deterrent.

    "Embarrassment is the best way to deal with these things," Randy Jedlicka said.

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    Scarlet Letter, eh.......

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    Originally posted by WMUDan
    Scarlet Letter, eh.......
    scarlet letters on a big freaking sign.
    This is not a 3-7 Michigan team...it is an 8-2 team without a QB.
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    Originally posted by Ranger
    scarlet letters on a big freaking sign.
    I had not even noticed the color of the font... rediculous.

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    Cripes the gas stations and gas companies steal money from us. What the hell is the difference? Crooks. No other entity fluctuates as much as gas prices. How they get away with it I will never know.
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    Originally posted by Dino
    Cripes the gas stations and gas companies steal money from us. What the hell is the difference? Crooks. No other entity fluctuates as much as gas prices. How they get away with it I will never know.

    The difference is THEY DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP A SIGN.........................
    " Quality is never an accident,It is always the result of intelligent effort......."

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    Originally posted by Dino
    Cripes the gas stations and gas companies steal money from us. What the hell is the difference? Crooks. No other entity fluctuates as much as gas prices. How they get away with it I will never know.
    It's called capitalism and the free enterprise system. As long as we keep on demanding more and more gas, they can keep on charging whatever they want. Supply and demand -- we keep thinking prices are going up due to supply, but I'd say it is more because of our demand.

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    Originally posted by Dino
    Cripes the gas stations and gas companies steal money from us. What the hell is the difference? Crooks. No other entity fluctuates as much as gas prices. How they get away with it I will never know.
    they break into your car?

    Nobody forces you to buy their gas. You can walk or ride a bike.
    .

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    Originally posted by Oblong
    Nobody forces you to buy their gas. You can walk or ride a bike.
    Exactly. I haven't purchased gasoline since May 2000.

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    I don't feel this punishment fits this crime. How humiliating; how demeaning. This is crap.
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    There's a Curb Your Enthusiasm Episode from a few years ago about this.

    She probably learned her lesson more than a fine would have.
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    I'm not being sarcastic or anything, I'm just curious what people's opinions are for a fitting punishment.

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    Originally posted by Oblong
    they break into your car?

    Nobody forces you to buy their gas. You can walk or ride a bike.
    Explain how a gas station can order a tank of gas, pay for it, start charging a certain price. Then when all of the gas stations in town decide to raise their prices, you get charged more for the same tank of gas. Gouging is what it is called.
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    No, it's called supply and demand.

    Gas stations make very little off of gas. Something like 5 cents a gallon. Thats' their margin just to cover their costs with.
    .

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    Originally posted by Dino
    Explain how a gas station can order a tank of gas, pay for it, start charging a certain price. Then when all of the gas stations in town decide to raise their prices, you get charged more for the same tank of gas. Gouging is what it is called.
    Easy. The gas station doesn't just buy gas one time and have it magically refill itself. After they run out of the tank of gas, they are going to have to buy a new one. So, where the other gas stations start to raise their prices, that is a good indication that the owner will have to pay more for his new tank of gas. Since the whole point of being in business is to make a profit, he would be an idiot not to raise his price as well. Otherwise, bankruptcy is what it is called.

    As for the main point of the thread, I doubt that this lady is going to ever steal gas again. Thus, this punishment did its job more effectively than a fine or overnight in jail. Sometimes, shame can be a good thing.
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    I clearly stated in the "middle of a tank" mark.

    Well maybe not clearly but that is what I meant.
    Last edited by Dino; 08-01-2004 at 01:43 AM.
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    Originally posted by Mark The Shark
    Easy. The gas station doesn't just buy gas one time and have it magically refill itself. After they run out of the tank of gas, they are going to have to buy a new one. So, where the other gas stations start to raise their prices, that is a good indication that the owner will have to pay more for his new tank of gas. Since the whole point of being in business is to make a profit, he would be an idiot not to raise his price as well. Otherwise, bankruptcy is what it is called.

    As for the main point of the thread, I doubt that this lady is going to ever steal gas again. Thus, this punishment did its job more effectively than a fine or overnight in jail. Sometimes, shame can be a good thing.

    Further than that, the gasoline is sold on a very tight margin... some have suggested a nickel a gallon, which may not be tight enough, maybe one or two cents a gallon, sometimes even as a loss leader at a competitive intersection. Essentially, what they pay for gas is what you pay for gas.

    Additionally, many smaller retailers are living tank to tank. What's made on this tank has to buy the next tank. So, when signs point to a price jump, they need to anticipate the jump so the have the money to buy the next tank. An unexpected 25 cent per gallon increase costs me the consumer an extra 4 bucks when I'm filling up the 1991 Volvo, but if I had to pay that on 100,000 gallons, that extra 25,000 could put me out of business.
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    Gas doesn't fit the typical capitalist mold. Because so many people rely on it, and because of the pricing restrictions in place, gas prices are honestly much much cheaper than they would be in a purely supply and demand market place. Considering how necessary gas is for most peoples everyday lives, gas is pretty cheap.
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    Originally posted by wingedwheel
    I'm not being sarcastic or anything, I'm just curious what people's opinions are for a fitting punishment.
    I think the punishment was fitting. She was caught stealing. The amount doesn't matter. & all she had to do was stand outside for a while with a sign. Hopefully, it will be a lesson for her.
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  20. #20
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    Originally posted by wingedwheel
    I'm not being sarcastic or anything, I'm just curious what people's opinions are for a fitting punishment.
    What are your opinions on a fitting punishment?

  21. #21
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    The Constitution says punishment can't be cruel and unusual. There was nothing cruel about this type of punishment, and it wouldn't be unusual if judge's did it more often.
    ‎"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

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    Get caught running off without paying in Michigan and you have a very good chance of losing your license. And that is cruel and unusual punishment.
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  23. #23
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    Originally posted by cruzer1
    I don't feel this punishment fits this crime. How humiliating; how demeaning. This is crap.

    Hey she was also late by 90 minutes so I don't think she cared all to much about it.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by cruzer1
    I don't feel this punishment fits this crime. How humiliating; how demeaning. This is crap.
    Since she is guilty of stealing, she could've been thrown in the slammer. Which would you rather do, spend time in jail or spend time wearing a sign with no jail time?

    And if it's humiliating and demeaning? It's her fault. She decided to break the law. If she has to be made feel uncomfortable for a few hours by wearing a sign (the horror!) then she should be so lucky.
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  25. #25
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    Originally posted by Billy Ringo
    Get caught running off without paying in Michigan and you have a very good chance of losing your license. And that is cruel and unusual punishment.

    hUH?
    ‎"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

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  26. #26
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    Shame on Her


    Sherelle Purnell, 18, of Salisbury, Md., walks along Route 13 wearing a sign reading, "I was caught stealing gas", in front of the Tiger Mart gas station she stole from yesterday in Salisbury, Md. On April 4, Purnell pulled up to a pump at the station and filled her car with 2.78 gallons of fuel, according to court records. Purnell drove away, without paying for the gas. Though Wicomico County District Court Judge D. William Simpson authorized the punishment, the unconventional sentence was the brainchild of Tiger Mart store manager Jan Phipps . According to the Alexandria, Va.-based National Association of Convenience Stores, gas theft costs the industry about $112 million a year.

    Gas thief makes a spectacle of herself

    By JOHN VANDIVER
    Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times
    07/30/2004

    When Sherelle Purnell sped away from Gordy's Tiger Mart in Salisbury, Md., without paying for $4.52 worth of gasoline, she probably didn't think the punishment would be three hours of court-ordered public humiliation.

    But from noon to 3 p.m. today, the 18-year-old will be standing in front of the convenience store near the Centre at Salisbury on U.S. 13 wearing a sandwich board sign that reads: "I was caught stealing gas."

    Though Wicomico County District Court Judge D. William Simpson ordered the punishment, the unconventional sentence was the brainchild of Tiger Mart store manager Jan Phipps.

    "The reaction in the courtroom was unbelievable. Everyone said 'Oh my God,' '' said Phipps, who asked prosecutors to seek the unusual punishment.

    Purnell's crime was caught on a surveillance system that has helped cut gas thefts by 60 percent since February.

    According to the Alexandria, Va.-based National Association of Convenience Stores, gas theft costs the industry about $112 million a year. The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation this year that would temporarily suspend driver's licenses for people convicted of gas theft, joining 24 other states with similar laws.

    Wicomico Sheriff Hunter Nelms said he supports sentences such as the one issued by Simpson.

    "Apparently, everything else we do isn't acting as a deterrent," he said.

    Purnell could not be reached for comment Thursday.


    here are some more stories about this.


    Purnell's crime was caught on a surveillance system that has helped cut gas thefts by 60 percent since February. sounds good in my book

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    What a novel concept, if you steal, then there's a punishment which might serve as a deterrent. Hopefully, it also proves to be a deterrent for others not wishing to be "humiliated." I find it funny that some people on this board think that this punishment goes too far. If she didn't mind stealing the gas, why shouldn't she mind letting others know what she did. If she wouldn't want people to know that she stole, then she shouldn't be stealing.

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    Honestly, the punishment as a deterent idea doesn't really work usually. Generally, the best way to deter crimes is to catch the people who commit them, because criminals don't like to get caught and will try to avoid crimes that will get them caught. Most people who are about to steal something don't think far enough ahead to consider what will happen if they get caught, since most aren't planning on getting caught.
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    Originally posted by MotorCityOrangeman
    What a novel concept, if you steal, then there's a punishment which might serve as a deterrent. Hopefully, it also proves to be a deterrent for others not wishing to be "humiliated." I find it funny that some people on this board think that this punishment goes too far. If she didn't mind stealing the gas, why shouldn't she mind letting others know what she did. If she wouldn't want people to know that she stole, then she shouldn't be stealing.
    Amen brotha! Stealing is stealing, no mater wha the amount is. I think this is fair punishment. I can honestly say I've never stolen anything in my life. I just don't believe in it. I sure as hell wish I could, I've had plenty of chances. I just think it one of the worst things you can do.
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    Judging from the photo, she seems pretty nonchalant about it in any event.

    If a person has no sense of shame to begin with, maybe the question isn't whether making a public spectacle of them is "cruel and unsual" punishment, so much as whether it's *effective* punishment.

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    Originally posted by guy incognito
    Judging from the photo, she seems pretty nonchalant about it in any event.

    If a person has no sense of shame to begin with, maybe the question isn't whether making a public spectacle of them is "cruel and unsual" punishment, so much as whether it's *effective* punishment.
    Well, it'll have to do since it's been hard getting my "baseball bat to the face" idea given as a punishment.

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    Originally posted by shabba4detroit
    The Constitution says punishment can't be cruel and unusual. There was nothing cruel about this type of punishment, and it wouldn't be unusual if judge's did it more often.
    I agree. (I bet this is one time you won't mind a one-liner)
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    Amen brotha! Stealing is stealing, no mater wha the amount is. I think this is fair punishment. I can honestly say I've never stolen anything in my life. I just don't believe in it. I sure as hell wish I could, I've had plenty of chances. I just think it one of the worst things you can do.
    I'd be able to say the same thing if it weren't for the fact that downloading music is stealing.
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    Originally posted by qsilvr2531
    I'd be able to say the same thing if it weren't for the fact that downloading music is stealing.
    I think you used the wrong word there. Or did you mean downloading music is sharing.
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    Originally posted by qsilvr2531
    I'd be able to say the same thing if it weren't for the fact that downloading music is stealing.
    Oops... ya I've downloaded a lot of things, I forgot about that. The difference there is the person I took it from still has their copy. I didn't just steal one of their CD's. So I don't technically consider that stealing
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    Originally posted by Yoda
    Oops... ya I've downloaded a lot of things, I forgot about that. The difference there is the person I took it from still has their copy. I didn't just steal one of their CD's. So I don't technically consider that stealing
    And he almost sticks the landing. It was a long fall from that horse, bob. Yep, jim, one of the highest horses we've seen in a while, but that trick of twisting ethics in mid air really paid off for him.
    What, me worry?

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    Originally posted by billms
    And he almost sticks the landing. It was a long fall from that horse, bob. Yep, jim, one of the highest horses we've seen in a while, but that trick of twisting ethics in mid air really paid off for him.
    Well it's not stealing, nor is it sharing. It needs a new word. Until these things are banned it's legal and that's all right for me
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    Until these things are banned it's legal and that's all right for me
    No actually, it's completely illegal (copyright infringement and all that). From the record companies standpoint it's the same as stealing a CD from a store (from my standpoint it isn't, but it turns out the record companies don't care what my standpoint is).

    Sharing implies that you are dividing something and splitting it between a group of people. Making copies of something is not sharing that something.
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    yes it is stealing for the reasons qsilv pointed out.

    My whole point on file sharing is that it may be stealing but it's not good business practice to sue your customers and that the record companies are being short sighted in all of this. That's a different disucssion.

    But from a legal standpoint, it is stealing, regardless of whether you think it's fair,right,popular, etc.
    .

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    Originally posted by qsilvr2531
    Sharing implies that you are dividing something and splitting it between a group of people. Making copies of something is not sharing that something.
    Yeah I agree. So is it illegal for me to take a piece of gum out of my mouth and give it to someone else? Technically they should be paying for that gum but they're not, right?
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