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Punishing the victims

Robert Eckert of Yarmouth, Massachusetts is a marked man.

He's got a lengthy history of encounters with the police, numerous arrests and cour appearances. He can't drive down the road without wondering if he's going to get pulled over and taken in again. He's been fingerprinted so many times his fingertips are almost permanently stained.

His offense? 12 years ago, he lived next door to a dirtbag named James Jones. And Mr. Jones, after one of his numerous arrests, gave his name to police as "Robert Eckert."

That led to Eckert's name being listed as an alias for Jones. And every single time Jones gets in trouble with the law, a flag goes up and Eckert is hauled in again until he can exonerate himself.

I have a simple solution to identity theft cases like this, where a person is victimized for years by a scumbag. After a certain point, the victim can just kill the offender, and face only charges of attempted suicide.

In this case, Mr. Eckert could kill Mr. Jones. Since Mr. Jones repeatedly insists that he is Mr. Eckert, it could be considered a form of suicide. And since Mr. Eckert is verifiably alive, the attempt must have been unsuccessful. All that remains would be some other minor charges -- littering, discharging a firearm, and the like.

Yeah, it's a bit draconian. But it oughta do wonders in the fight against identity theft.


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Comments (11)

I keep waiting for someone ... (Below threshold)

I keep waiting for someone to steal my identity so I can kill them and fake my own death, collect the insurance money, move to Mexico and live out my life on the beach in luxury, uh wait, nevermind...

I think you're definitely o... (Below threshold)
Old Soldier:

I think you're definitely onto something. We need a few Congressmen (or women) to get on board and sponsor a bill...

Someone stole my identity o... (Below threshold)

Someone stole my identity once. For three weeks my debt load shrank and my credit rating improved. I had money, and people liked me.

Then the scumbag gave it back.

This case of autocide would... (Below threshold)

This case of autocide would be justified, except in Oregon.

Isn't giving a wrong name t... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Isn't giving a wrong name to police a crime in itself?

Also, couldn't Mr. Eckert sue Mr. Jones for harassment? Assuming Mr. Jones has any assets to seize......

Or maybe the police could j... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Or maybe the police could just keep track of this guy using an alias and stop hauling in the innocent one all the time...

Don't think of it as killin... (Below threshold)
Jack:

Don't think of it as killing the thief. Just think of it as deleting the duplicate copy.

Just wondering why a guy wh... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Just wondering why a guy who considers himself a "gifted writer" would open a paragraph with "he's got a lengthy history...." I guess it takes a gift to come up with a contracted version of "he has got," when "he has" does the job just fine.

More words are better, I suppose. Yeah, whenever you can increase the word count by 33 percent, the reader must reap a bargain.

Wow, Mr. Crane used 69 word... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Wow, Mr. Crane used 69 words to do nothing but prove he's a petty jerk.

I'm in agreement that identity theft needs to be dealt with harshly, as does lazy law enforcement. That they have made no note of this dual identity and continue to harass the same man simply due to having the misfortune to have had a criminal steal your name seems potentially actionable.

I was going to comment here... (Below threshold)

I was going to comment here, but then I realized Mr. Crane's work needed a little editing to conform to his self-imposed "less is more" style:

From:
"Just wondering why a guy who considers himself a "gifted writer" would open a paragraph with "he's got a lengthy history...." I guess it takes a gift to come up with a contracted version of "he has got," when "he has" does the job just fine."

To:

I wonder why a self-proclaimed "gifted writer" opens a paragraph with "he's got a lengthy history." It takes a gift to form a contraction of "he has got" when "he has" works just as well."

From 46 words and an unnecessary ellipsis to 35 words, without losing a bit of the original ironic flavor.

Don't feel bad, Mr. Crane. Keep trying and you'll improve with time.

Random: Bravo!Jay,... (Below threshold)
Dan S:

Random: Bravo!

Jay, I'm with you. But let's not let to lazy police off the hook either. After twice, this should be actionable harrassment.




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