That hour you lost in sleep last night might just be worth it, because a study establishes that the extra hour of daylight results in a reduction in violent crime. In fact the crime reduction during that hour of light rather than darkness is significant especially for major violent crimes such as robbery, murder and rape.
|Harold Lloyd Fights Daylight Savings Time
For example, during that well lit extra hour of sunshine there’s a reduction in robbery by 51%, murder by 48% and sexual battery by 56%. Could it be that just like us, criminals miss the extra hour of sleep and so slough off their important work habits during during that lonely hour? No, say our hard-hearted scientist, it’s simply that criminals are more likely to do their work at night while cloaked in darkness.
According to the study Under the Cover of Darkness: Using Daylight Savings Time to measure how ambient light influences criminal behavior, which ferreted out other variables, it is the light itself that reduces the crime rate. Light increases the likelihood of being caught thereby increasing the expected cost of the crime. The study further shows that Daylight Savings saves over half a billion dollars a year in social costs due to reduced crime. And it suggests that it would be a wise investment to improve night time lighting with more street lights.
Since Florida is known as the Sunshine State one would think crime would not even exist here in Tampa Bay. Nor would one readily believe that beach blanket crime could occur on our sunny beaches during tourist season, yet it does and in broad daylight too. Perhaps the problem is that the street lights are turned off during the day.
Anyway, soon we’ll recover our lost sleep. Till then my recommendation for our somnolent Congress is to take that hour away on Monday rather than ruining the weekends by stealing the hour on Sunday. Perhaps the findings of another crime study finding that more iphone muggings occur on Mondays than any other day of the week will help our cause. By reducing the number of hours on Monday crime would be reduced as well.
Your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney isn’t surprised that one may choose to spend a rebellious youth seeking ever greater risks and ever higher highs.
But let me give some unsolicited advice.
|Monet, Feral Florida Youth, 1886
If you happen to find yourself in another person’s home uninvited, say while committing the crime of burglary, it’s very unlikely that those fancy gilt urns up on the mantle next to the flowers over the marble fireplace really contain cocaine, heroin or crushed oxycodone.
Yet three feral youth of Florida made some bad decisions after burglarizing an Ocala home by taking the cremated ashes of the victim’s father and two Great Danes, then optimistically mistaking the ashes for drugs and ingesting them.
A Florida Circuit Judge in Ocala has sentenced the three snorters to eight years of prison, good thing those two dogs were already dead as the Judge might have given an even harsher sentence.
Press reports noted that:
Detectives investigating the case said the accused men told them they thought the urns contained heroin, cocaine or crushed pills and decided to taste and snort the contents. After the men saw a story published in the newspaper, they realized what they had allegedly snorted were the remains of the victim’s woman’s father and her two dogs.
The eight year sentence is on it’s face unfair and unconscionable. Deep in the press reports hides the fact that the three youths were just that, only aged 19, 20 and 21. A Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer assumes that the sentencing Judge did not grant any Defense Motions for a Reduction of Sentence based on Florida’s Youthful Offender Statute due to the nature of the offense, prior unlawful conduct or other pending burglaries and grand thefts. Invoking the Youthful Offender statute would have allowed the Judge to go under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines to give a fair and reasonable sentence.
|Picasso, Before Robbing Banks
Risk taking can be as addictive as drugs, but mixing drugs with the ultimate risk of Florida bank robbery makes for a toxic mix for a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney to unwind. The crack bank robber who recently called 911 saying that he was about to rob another Tampa Bay bank is a former police officer with a huge drug problem. His life spiraled out of control not only from drug addiction but seems to have escalated into the need to take ever greater risks with an addiction to the risks of robbery itself. As press reports note:
Money is rarely the sole motivator in bank heists, says William Rehder, a bank robbery expert and 33-year FBI agent. What drives the robbers, the thing that keeps them coming back to steal even more, is the excitement of the act itself.
“All bank bandits are serial,” Rehder said. “Robbing a bank is as much an addiction as drugs can be.”
That’s likely what it was for Kane…as Kane himself told authorities after each time he was busted, it was addiction, the primal rush one gets from carrying out something as invigorating and dangerous as taking someone else’s money, that led to his downfall.
Yet even if violent acts such as robbery are addictive should Courts take that addiction into account to lower the Florida sentencing scoresheet and guideline as might be reasonable with a proven drug addiction? Violent crimes by their very nature must be treated by the Courts in Florida with more care than nonviolent crimes.
Criminal sentencing has many objectives which Clearwater Criminal Lawyers often argue such as the hope for rehabilitation or the need for punishment, but protecting the public from violent acts is a primary goal which in Tampa Bay Florida will always be the sentencing Court’s primary concern no matter what addiction is proven.
With two successful unsolved Bank Robberies under his belt, planning the third proved too much for a robber even as he was casing a Wells Fargo Bank in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was very stressed and tired, so he did what any good citizen would do – he called a Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer to confess, no this story does not end so happily – no, he dialed 911 according to press reports.
|Adrian Brouwer, Fumatore, 1635
The robber told stunned dispatchers that he wanted to go back to rehab as he’d fallen off the wagon, the fall apparently directly striking his head. The police obliged in their gentle way by sending him directly to jail where he could have made use of some of that bank money to make a $100,000 bond. St. Petersburg Police Department Detectives charged him with two counts of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, noting that he not only confessed to the bank robberies, but is addicted to crack cocaine.
Will the fact that the confessed robber turned himself in by dialing 911 with an argument that he was addicted to drugs at the time of the robberies help in mitigating his sentence? Not much. Florida sentences are determined mathematically by Florida Guidelines and Scoresheets which apply unless trumped by a Florida minimum mandatory sentence. Aggravating his potential sentence is that the robberies were charged as being armed, which if true would likely trigger Florida’s minimum mandatory sentence for firearm possession during a crime. Also, the press notes that he has prior robberies which would ratchet up the Florida Sentencing Guidelines to a level even beyond the minimum mandatory sentence. Tampa Bay’s finest Clearwater Criminal Attorneys, deluded as we are, could argue that the 911 call and the crack cocaine addiction present the Judge with an opportunity to go to the lower end of the guidelines, but even the lower end of the Florida Sentencing Guidelines if calculated were less than the minimum mandatory sentence, a Pinellas Judge will likely look for a very hefty sentence for a violent offense.