Sunday, March 24, 2013

Television in real life

So I'm sort of obsessed with watching true crime shows and documentary-style shows where they go inside real prisons in America and interview inmates and officers, etc. Because apparently I don't get enough of this stuff in my work life...

Anyway, as I watch these shows, I am always amazed at how much time people get sentenced to in other states. Like I was watching one the other day where the guy was in  state prison for selling drugs and his sentence was 75 years. 75 YEARS?! I don't think it's even possible to get a 75 year sentence in Minnesota without some special circumstances. First degree murder will get you life in prison w/o the possibility of parole.  Otherwise, unless there is some aggravating factors, the sentencing grid in Minnesota tops out around 480 months (40 years).

Another one I saw was an 18 year old kid who was in prison for the first time was there for an aggravated robbery. His sentence was 25 years. The presumed sentence in Minnesota for a first time offender convicted of aggravated robbery is 4 years.

So, is Minnesota excessively lenient? Or are other states excessively harsh?

Also, in a similar vein, I happened to be watching "Snapped" on Oxygen (shhh, don't judge me) and it was a new episode. I was only half paying attention until I heard the narrator say, "In 2010, in Lake Crystal, Minnesota..." And then it had my full attention. Minnesota is never mentioned in these type of shows, so I was fascinated. It was an interesting episode, until it got towards the end, when the show was covering the outcome of the murder charges and the narrator said, "Prosecutors offered to take the death penalty off the table if the defendant would plead guilty."

(Insert record scratch noise here)

Fact-check fail. Minnesota doesn't have the death penalty, so the prosecutors didn't offer that unless they were being facetious. Or aholes. In either case, it wouldn't have been s legitimate offer.

Way to go, "Snapped."


  1. I TOTALLY WATCHED THAT EPISODE TOO. And I was full of anger about the "death penalty" thing. I was hoping that maybe they meant taking the "no parole" thing off the table, but seriously!?!?! What the balls.

    Doesn't mean I won't stop watching it though. ESPECIALLY the Snapped: Killer Couples series that just started. That one is amazeballs.

    1. LOVE the Killer Couples spin-off. So good.

  2. And this is why we're friends. HILARIOUS.