kottke.org posts about jail

A tale of two bank robbers, or The Clerk and the PauperAug 26 2013

Today is a weird day for human-interest stories about bank robbers.

The New York Times highlights Shon R. Hopwood, a former bank robber who studied law in prison, successfully petitioned on behalf of another prisoner in a Supreme Court case his team won 9-0, and will soon be a clerk for the DC circuit federal appeals court, "generally considered the second most important court in the nation, after the Supreme Court":

The judge Mr. Hopwood worked for last summer said he deserved his 147-month sentence. "He used a weapon in some of those robberies, and that justified a very heavy hit," said Judge John C. Coughenour of Federal District Court in Seattle. "But everybody we sentence has the potential to turn their life around."

Meanwhile, one state south in Oregon:

Authorities in Oregon say a homeless man who held up a bank for $1 was just looking for a way to go to jail so he could receive free health care.

According to Clackamas County sheriff's deputies, 50-year-old Tim Alsip entered a Bank of America in Southeast Portland last Friday morning and handed the teller a note that read, "This is a holdup. Give me a dollar."

I know he's a busy man, but it would be remarkable if Mr. Hopwood could drive from Seattle to Portland and find a way to help Mr. Alsip be relegated to an appropriate facility.

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