CA Columnist: Hard Time For Cheese Thief Proves System Works


A California man who was sentenced to seven years in prison under the three-strikes law for stealing cheese is getting attention as an example of the broken criminal justice system. But Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton writes that the sentence for Robert Ferguson is quite the opposite. “When you strip away the emotion and focus on the facts, Ferguson’s case proves the system can work,” he said. “Robert Ferguson is the definition of a recidivist criminal, in and out of prison since the early 1980s.”

Breton continues, “He didn’t just steal a bag of Tillamook shredded cheese worth $3.99 from Woodland’s Nugget Market. He stole the wallet of a mom tending to her sick kid at a 7-11. He’s broken into people’s homes numerous times. And every time he’s been released from prison, he’s committed new crimes and gone back in. He could have been sentenced to life in prison long before now. His public defender, Monica Brushia, confirmed he has six strikes against him with all the burglaries and crimes he’s committed over the years. Ferguson just hasn’t been sentenced that way.”

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