What is $1 worth nowadays? With the way inflation is going, you really can’t buy much for a dollar nowadays. So why is a Florida man being charged with a felony for stealing a $1 soda from McDonald’s?
$1 felony: Local authorities in Florida say a man faces felony charges after refusing to pay for a cup of soda at a McDonald’s restaurant.
A Florida man faces felony charges after refusing to pay $1 for a cup of soda in an East Naples McDonald’s restaurant.
The local manager told sheriff’s deputies that Mark Abaire filled a courtesy cup with soda and walked out of the building without paying. A McDonald’s employee told him the cup was only for water. However, Abaire filled it with soda from the fountain machine and went to sit outside the restaurant.
The police report stated that when the manager asked him to pay, Abaire declined, cursed at him and refused to leave the premises, the Naples News reported.
Collier County deputies later arrested Abaire who now faces felony charges, according to the same report.
The initial charge was for petty theft. But due to Abaire’s record of prior petty theft convictions, the charge was increased from a misdemeanor to a felony under Florida’s ‘three strikes’ statute.
‘Three strikes’ laws, currently being used in 26 states, came as a response to public outrage over a string of kidnappings and murders by paroled repeat offenders in Washington State in 1993.
In Florida, it appears that third-degree felony is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
This is absurd. Being convicted of a felony normally carries a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines and the loss of voting and other rights. On top of that it will show up on background checks preventing him from finding meaningful work. (Who would want to hire a convicted felon).
Instead of helping to rehabilitate this man, we are basically condemning him out of society- creating a situation that will push him towards more serious crime.
Georgia has similar repeat offender laws for shoplifting and petty theft meaning a person who has multiple shoplifting violations can be convicted of a felony and can face 1-10 years in prison.
The laws in this country are becoming more and more absurd because of politics. As many people have commented, “Politicians and banking executives can steal millions and no one goes after them, but if you steal a soda you can get a felony!”