Queens Pickpocket Gets 15-to-Life for $22 Theft

Lindsay Beyerstein: The judge was willing to play along, even though the pickpocket had no history of violence.
This post, written by Lindsay Beyerstein, originally appeared on Majikthise

A Queens judge sentenced a pickpocket to 15-to-life for stealing $22.

Undercover police officers busted the perp in 2004 as he tried to boost an old man's wallet on a city bus.

Prosecutors offered him an 8-month sentence if he were willing to plead guilty. He refused. Prosecutors then petitioned the court to designate him as a persistent felony offender.

Queens judge Arthur Cooperman was willing to play along, even though the pickpocket had no history of violence:
Truesdale was found guilty in June 2005 of grand larceny, possession of stolen property, three counts of jostling (bumping into the attended victim), and possession of a burglar's tools (the sweatshirt). In a hearing to determine if Truesdale was a persistent felony offender, his trial lawyer argued that his crimes were nonviolent and were committed only to feed drug and alcohol addictions that Truesdale was seeking help to control.
Lindsay Beyerstein a New York writer blogging at Majikthise.
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