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Opening Arguments

That's the ticket

OK, sure, some punishment is called for here, but a felony?

FEBRUARY 26--Meet Lendsey and Delilha Harbin

The married couple went to the movies Saturday night at a multiplex in Portage, Indiana, where they watched “Snitch,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. When the action flick ended, the Harbins exited theater #13 and headed into theater #15, where the zombie film “Warm Bodies” was about to start.

The Harbins, however, had not purchased $6.75 tickets to the second movie, which resulted in the duo’s arrest for felony theft, according to a Portage Police Department report.

This story is getting attention because of the odd "felony gate-crashing" angle, but it illustrates a serious issue. All thefts in Indiana are classified as felonies, regardless of the amount involved. This will probably be reduced or bargained down to a misdemeanor, but still . . . the idea that you can get thrown into jail for six months to three years (for the lowest-level Class D Felony) regardless of the amount is sort of Les Miserablish.


Harl Delos
Wed, 02/27/2013 - 11:32am

I'm surprised that themovie theatre complained.  Those aren't exactly doorbusters, so it's not like the theatre needed the seats.

The movie house pays virtually all of the admission fees to the movie maker, so they weren't stealing much of anything from the theatre.  If attending a second movie means you buy some concessions - say, a bucket of popcorn and a couple of cups of Pepsi, many theatre managers would be happy that you bought one movie and stayed for two.

Paramount, Sony, etc., might be a little aggrieved, but do they normally haunt movieplexes in places like Portage?

Maybe they were behaving poorly - you know, spoilsports who are shushing teenagers who were talking over the movie, and trying to discoutage young love in the seats nearby. Most movie houses figure that teenagers are their bread and butter....

Andrew J.
Wed, 02/27/2013 - 12:00pm

You advocate lessening the punishment and you become a poltician who is soft on crime!


Leo Morris
Wed, 02/27/2013 - 3:23pm

I advocate proportionality, making the punishment fit the crime. That bunch of conservative cave dwellers in the General Assembly are struggling to do just that as they try to rework the Indiana criminal code.