February 25th, 2021


Least Competent Criminals | Doing Time Right

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Nov. 30, 2015

Least Competent Criminals |  Doing Time Right

Paul Neaverson, 61, was convicted in September in England's Maidstone Crown Court for a robbery his own lawyer called "ridiculous." He had gone to a NatWest bank in Rainham, pointed a knife at a cashier, and demanded that money be placed "on the table" or "into his account" at NatWest, according to the police report. Earlier, he had walked out of an HSBC bank when the teller balked at his robbery demand. He was sentenced to two years in prison. [KentOnline, 9-9-2015]

In October, a Harvard University debate team (three-time recent champions of the American Parliamentary Debate Association) lost a match to a team of prisoners from the maximum-security Eastern New York Correctional Facility. Prison debaters "are held to the exact same standards" as college debate teams, according to the director of Bard College's Prison Initiative, which coaches the inmates. Prisoners took the "pro" side of public schools having the right to turn away students whose parents had entered the U.S. illegally (though team members personally disagreed). The Bard trainers pointed out that the inmates perfected their presentation despite (or perhaps because of) the prison prohibition on Internet access. [Washington Post, 10-7-2015]

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