A loving and devoted husband and father of four is suddenly going to spend 13 years in prison -- all because of a clerical error. Oh, and the fact that Cornealious 'Mike' Anderson III was sentenced to prison in 2000. But someone forgot to put him there. Yes, simply forgot about it. So Mike, not being stupid, didn't remind anyone that he was supposed to be in prison, and got on with his life. He became a carpenter, started a business, married, and had a family. Until one day there was a knock at the door ...
Last year, as Mike slept in the home he himself built for his wife and kids, enjoying the fruits of his success, a SWAT team swarmed the home. Mike was arrested in front of his 2-year-old daughter, put in prison, and has been there ever since.
See, Mike had been sentenced to 13 years in prison for an armed robbery he committed when he was 22. But due to some kind of clerical error, he was never brought to prison.
In fact, no one knew he wasn't there until it was time for his release, and someone realized, Whoops, the guy isn't here!
Instead of doing hard time, Mike was being a productive citizen, going to church, coaching youth football, staying out of trouble, and raising a family. His business partner says he doesn't drink or even cuss. According to all, even the prosecutors, he is a perfect upstanding tax-paying citizen and family man.
Mike never went on the run. He stayed in the same town, used his same name. He even registered his contracting business under his real name and address.
But when no one came to get him, he went on with his life. Ya blame him? Now he sits in prison because the state wants its time. Understandable.
But now he's the kind of citizen we need in society. And now he's locked away, where his children won't have him. Now we have four children at risk of growing up into dysfunctional adults. Not to mention that Mike's wife will have to give up the business because she can't run it by herself and raise four kids -- this whole family might end up on the taxpayers' dime.
No, it's not fair to the others who have had to serve their time and didn't get the blessing of a clerical error. But let's show some mercy on this guy.
Mike's crime? Stealing $2000 from a Burger King. His weapon? A BB gun.
Right? Nope. But 13 years? When an "affluenza teen" who kills four people in a drunk driving accident gets no prison time, and the taxpayers pick up the majority of his rehab stay?
In fact, Mike was sentenced to MORE time in prison than the guy who robbed the fast food joint with him, despite the fact that he cooperated with police and the other guy didn't. Even the Burger King employee who was robbed says he shouldn't have gone back to prison.
Mike will be the first person to admit he was not a good citizen as a young adult. But he has been since. Doesn't that count for something?
A petition has been started to get Mike released from prison and back to his family. I hope it works.
Do you think he should be released? Or serve the full 13 year sentence? Or something in between?
Image via Change.org