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Posted by Mike (17288 posts) 2 years, 11 months ago

Poll: You're about to do 20 years in prison for a crime you didn't commit. What do you do? (POLL) (353 votes)

Surrender and go to prison, hoping an appeal will exonerate you at some point in the future. Chances of that don't look good. 19%
Flee the country with no intention of ever going back unless something changes in your case, but it probably won't. 71%
Other - Explain in comments. (Please read first post before replying!) 9%

The other night, I watched 25th Hour , first time I've seen that flick in years. Highly recommended if you haven't seen it before, especially if you're an Edward Norton fan. The theme of the flick is that Norton's character is about to go to prison for quite a long time. The film is about the time immediately leading up to when he's supposed to surrender himself at the prison to start doing his time. Of course in the movie, Ed Norton is guilty, but it still made me think. If I was about to go to prison for 20 years for a crime I didn't commit and there seemed to be no chance of the conviction being overturned, what would I do? It's hard to say really, but if there were little to no chance of ever getting my conviction overturned and I was about to do 20 years, I would probably try and make a run for it.

Here are some conditions for our hypothetical poll:

a) You spent most of your life savings on the best attorneys money can buy, and it wasn't enough. You were convicted at trial and sentenced, and a mistrial or some other loophole isn't happening. You are going to prison. You may get exonerated at a later time, but your attorneys say that the likelihood of that ever happening is slim. You're done. The prison you'll be doing time in isn't maximum security but it isn't a resort, either. Additionally you're doing Federal time (assume you are in the U.S. for the purpose of this exercise) so early release or parole is not a possibility. You're doing all 20 years, at least. Maybe more if you get into trouble while inside.

b) You still have access to around $25,000 in cash that you could use to run and start a new life with. (You sold your car and all your stuff after the conviction.) Assume this is enough to get you out of the country and to whatever destination you choose, and enough to live on for a little while while you get settled and figure things out, try to get a job, stuff like that. Let's further say that post-trial, the judge gave you a week to get your affairs in order and turn yourself in. So you have some time before anyone notices you're missing.

c) If you elect to run, only you can go. You can't take any of your family, friends, or spouse with you. No pets either! Nothing from your former life that can identify you can be taken along.

d) If you run, you won't be able to see or speak to anyone you know for at least a few years. Maybe later on you can find a way to get a message to your loved ones and they can risk visiting you somewhere, but not for awhile. No contact of any kind, otherwise the authorities could track you down or even worse, lay some charges on your family for aiding a fugitive. You are truly alone.

What would you do?

Avatar image for firepaw
#1 Edited by Firepaw (3053 posts) -

Fake my own death.

I bet I could do a decent job at faking my own death for 10 grand, then I have around 15 grand left to build a new life. Or I guess just disappearing would work too.

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#2 Edited by Ben_H (3926 posts) -

Hire the A-Team.

Unless I AM the A-Team of course.

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#3 Posted by Mike (17288 posts) -

@ben_h said:

Hire the A-Team.

If you can find them. I always thought that was kind of crappy of the A-Team.

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#4 Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials (2547 posts) -

1. Have enormous ears

2. Find the one-armed man and beat his ass on a Ferris wheel

3. Done

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#5 Posted by ShotgunLincoln (393 posts) -

You can't fool me, I've seen Orange is the New Black. I'd go to jail.

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#6 Posted by jkz (4169 posts) -

There's some pretty places that don't extradite

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#7 Posted by Vuud (2052 posts) -

Go down in a blaze of glory Wild Bunch style.

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#8 Posted by TehBuLL (786 posts) -

Run. Run as fast as you can. Get out! I don't trust the legal system at all. Too many stories of people getting out 30 years later and the judges being like "whoops" like that makes up for all that time. Sure you can sue and get a couple million, but you still lived through torture, money won't fix that.

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#9 Posted by Capum15 (5694 posts) -

C: Knife Fight a Bear.

Both endings would be acceptable. In one, the note on the tombstone would be metal as hell. In the other, I'd be the guy in prison who was in a knife fight with a bear and won.

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#10 Posted by dudeglove (12570 posts) -

Isn't this just a variation on the zombie apocalypse scenario? I'd become one with nature.

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#11 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

Run away ... if it fails I aint goin to prision , so death

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#12 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

hmmmmm, over crowded prison system..... hmmmm

You know, I was reading about Kid's in the Hall's Dave Foley how he's wanted by Canada for half a million bucks in child support payments. So he's desperate to get any money after he couldn't land work from Bug's Life and News Radio not doing so well. So he's a famous running away from the law and trying to pay back through doing mediocre stand up work. He's no Roman Pollanski but makes me reconsider running the law.

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#13 Edited by laserguy (550 posts) -

Im doing twenty? I'd Go to a gambling website and put that money on Brock Lesnar, cause no one saw that coming, even though in hind site it makes since. Then I'd go to jail make some friends get out and collect my money from Brock Lesnar.

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#14 Posted by ZolRoyce (1618 posts) -

If you have a week to go to jail for a 20 year sentence you would for sure be on a no fly list. So as far as escaping goes it's either border crossing or getting on a boat and if you can't bring your old life with you, you would be an illegal in whatever country you went to, so you'd have to find one where you can find good under the table work to keep yourself going.
Or find a really poor country where that 25,000 means you are king, given you could have pulled all of it out of the bank in cash which you would have needed to have done before you got sentenced.
Man, fleeing seems like hard work, screw that.

Okay, here is what I would do instead, I'd rent a backhoe and go into the middle of nowhere and dig a small but big enough hole in the ground, get some wood planks to line it out with/support it with, buy ass loads of food and water, stock that shit, basically a make shift Tornado/Fallout shelter, look into generators and how they work, if I can figure that out, get that going, if I can't, just buy a shit load of batteries and flash lights and portable dvd players and gaming systems, and just see how long I can hold out, maybe sneak out once and a while if I need to re-supply/am turning into a pale sewer mutant of some kind.

Last resort, I would look into getting a sex change operation, because I've seen OZ and I've seen Orange Is The New Black so I'm pretty much an expert on prison now and a female prison seems waaaaaaay less crazy then a male prison. Even at the expense of my lower horn.

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#15 Edited by Sweep (10171 posts) -

I ran away to Malaysia for a month and lived in a tropical paradise for about £6 per night. If you get a job working behind a bar there then that drops to zero, and you get free drinks - that's 99% of your problems solved right there. I know plenty of people who scrambled off to South East Asia and just indefinitely bounce from one country to the next while they wait for their Visa's to expire. My buddy Bo has been out there 6 years on tourist Visas and has no intention of coming home. Once you've paid for the flight you're pretty much sorted. It would be a fucker not being able to go home, but I'd get over it.

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#16 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

Go on a heroic vigilante mission to find the real criminal to prove my innocent ultimately ending up committing far more severe crimes in the process and going to jail anyways.

Avatar image for legion_
#17 Posted by Legion_ (1718 posts) -

I take the money and I run.

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#18 Edited by owack6 (314 posts) -

@mb: It's funny you made this topic because i just saw 25th Hour for the first time about 2 hours ago.

And he going to be away for 7 years in prison not 20 which would be a much more hard to answer question because 20 years is pretty much the end of your life.

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#19 Posted by SingingMenstrual (335 posts) -

Funny that just yesterday I watched a season 10 episode of Family Guy where the four guys get imprisoned somewhere in the South and then escape movie-style, which made me watch The Shawshank Redemption start to finish in one go. What an amazing fucking movie.

Anyway I have no answer to the poll because both options scare me, I just know I'm never going to prison. I will watch the Ed Norton movie though, thanks bro!

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#20 Edited by Neonie (438 posts) -

I don't have any loved ones or pets, all my friends are online (and I've never met them in real life and they don't know any of my real contact information), and my user name can only be traced back to other people who use it and not my real identity. So running really has no downsides for me in this scenario, and I probably wouldn't even have to change my user name for online interaction and even if I decided to do that for extra security I already know what I'd change it to.

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#21 Edited by Pezen (2142 posts) -

Well, I have always had daydreams of escaping regular life and go into some sort of world walking adenture with no ties to my past life. And while Swedish prisions in comparisons to US one seem a bit more comfortable, the idea of being locked away for 20 years when I know I am innocent would probably drive me insane. On the other hand, that choice is super selfish to everyone that loves you. Sure, being locked up is a huge bummer and you shouln't be, but at least your loved ones can still see you. So it's sort of a pick between family and yourself. Thinking about it that way makes it harder.

I think if my family was on board with the idea of me escaping, and I could get their blessing to do so however bad of an idea they might think it is, I would do that. Otherwise I would probably accept prision for their peace of mind.

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#22 Edited by Tennmuerti (9082 posts) -

Move country. It's hard but you can start fresh, it's possible. Later you can move your family over, a year separation is no biggie, it can actually be good for a relationship. It's not that outlandish a scenario either, quite common actually. Speaking as someone with first hand experience in a similar situation, although not with those exact circumstances :P

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#23 Edited by falserelic (5770 posts) -

I'll be going to the UK if that's the case. Fuck spending my life behind bars over something I didn't do. I seen so many sad stories of people's life ruined over a crime they didn't commit, but the justice system had to blame somebody like always.

@capum15 said:

C: Knife Fight a Bear.

That can go horribly wrong...

Loading Video...

Worse case is hand to claw combat

Loading Video...

Kuma's putting in work.

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#24 Posted by Abendlaender (3056 posts) -

@ben_h said:

Hire the A-Team.

That's the only right answer. That's basically the answer to every question.

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#25 Edited by Somnus (92 posts) -

I would go out and actually commit the crime. Then go to jail.

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#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -
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#27 Posted by Justin258 (14372 posts) -

Run, of course.

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#28 Posted by Demoskinos (17325 posts) -

@mb: Besides that it just seems like a poor business model for the A-Team.

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#29 Edited by afabs515 (1737 posts) -

I have no problems admitting that I am not tough in almost any way. I would not last in prison. Fuck my family/friends; I'm getting the fuck out of here if that ever happens.

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#30 Edited by Firepaw (3053 posts) -
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#31 Edited by TobbRobb (6083 posts) -

If it was swede prison, I would probably stay here. It wouldn't be too bad. The pop culture view of American prison however, makes me want to run the fuuuuck away.

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#32 Posted by Marcsman (3597 posts) -

Portugal here I come.

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#33 Posted by pyromagnestir (4452 posts) -

I haven't committed a crime nor am I facing a 20 year stretch in prison, but the fleeing the country option is quite appealing to me at this current moment.

Avatar image for veektarius
#34 Edited by Veektarius (6096 posts) -

@tobbrobb: As an American, my understanding is that you are way less likely to get killed in American prison and way more likely to get raped than pop culture presents.

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#35 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10203 posts) -

Minority Report

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#36 Posted by RonGalaxy (4688 posts) -

The plot to the television show Rectify (sarcasm).

If things weren't looking good, I would definitely flee the country. I'm a fucking human, and I wouldn't let myself be convicted of a crime I didn't commit. Its fucking inhumane.

Not sure where I would go though. Definitely not Mexico. Maybe Canada, but I'm not sure what policy is regarding Canadian-American extradition. Probably wouldn't want to go to Europe.. That's where shit always hits the fan during war time. Would love to go to Sweden, but it's fucking expensive as shit there.

This will all be covered in my new HGTV show 'Paradise Escape'. Where I hunt for houses while the American government hunts for me.

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#37 Posted by SharkEthic (1091 posts) -

I have a wife, a two year old son and Danish prisons are basically summer camps with bars on the windows. I'm buying a sick gaming rig and going to prison to work on my backlog, son!!

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#39 Posted by alwaysbebombing (2397 posts) -
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#40 Edited by GERALTITUDE (5718 posts) -

I would peace the fuck out there, get plastic surgery, change my identity, and live a long, happy second life.

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#41 Posted by crusader8463 (14757 posts) -

I would run. I don't have any friend or family outside of a friend that I play games with all the time online which could be easily set up again in this new country.

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#42 Edited by RVonE (4993 posts) -

Since you state that it's an American prison, I'd probably try to muster up the courage to kill myself.

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#43 Posted by Shadow (5291 posts) -

GTFO the country

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#44 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7002 posts) -

I would try my best to get the hell out of there. I'd miss my family, but I'd have to learn to live with it.

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#45 Posted by chocolaterhinovampire (1447 posts) -

I would flee the country and fake my own death as best I could.

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#46 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1993 posts) -

Kill myself, probably.

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#47 Posted by CornBREDX (7197 posts) -

I'd write a book about it. If I'm going to jail for a crime I didn't commit everyone is going to know and I'm going to make millions on the option.

The movie would most likely win an Oscar.

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#48 Posted by Meptron (1305 posts) -

commit the crime

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#49 Posted by TheRealMoot (623 posts) -

Run for awhile.

Fake death.

Face lift?

Leave country.


Avatar image for natedynamic
#50 Posted by natedynamic (68 posts) -

I am in no danger of being sent anywhere, by anyone.

Don't you get it, duders?

I am the danger.