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Friday, June 24, 2011

Injustice in America or Clever Hoax?

This story about the homeless man who was sent to prison for 15 years after stealing $100 has been passed around thousands of times on the internet. Roy Brown, the homeless man, even has his own Facebook page. However, there is one little problem. If you try to find out the name of the sick judge, who sentenced Mr. Brown to 15 years for stealing the $100, or other details about the case you come up empty. So is the story true or is it a clever hoax?

Moral: Never forget, you can't believe everything you read on the internet!

Sample of blogs passing along the "injustice" against Roy Brown story:
we saw that... blog:
shreveport man gets 15 years for stealing $100.00 --
apparently, still smarting from that whole "cut 'em loose carmouche" nonsense that was used against him in his recent unsuccessful bid for the fourth congressional district seat, caddo parish, la. district attorney, paul carmouche asked for and received an astounding fifteen year prison sentence for roy brown...
Please note that DA Paul Carmouche's Wikipedia page does not mention this case. So was this story originally fabricated to discredit Mr. Carmouche? Additionally, none of the online stories seems able to report the year and month the sentence was given to Mr. Brown. So there is no judge, no date, no relatives of Roy Brown speaking out about the injustice, no real "free Roy Brown" movement. Believe it or not, and apparently many people have believed this story without question.
Update: more discussion
Theology Forum:
"Justice" in America -- [discussion of the Roy Brown story]

Slowtwitch Forums
can you guess which one could afford a lawyer? -- [discussion of the Roy Brown story]
2d Update: This story seems to have had a couple of surges of interest. One in 2009 and one recently in June 2011. Exactly the same verbatim write-up caused both surges. It's amazing that people will continue to discuss the issue of  injustice regarding the case when it's pointed out to them that the case is probably bogus. Killing an internet myth is not easy.

If this story was 100% accurate don't you think 60 Minutes, or Dateline, or some other news show would have shown an interest in reporting on it? If you were a producer for one of these shows wouldn't you want to get Roy Brown on camera ASAP to tell his story to America. How do you spell Emmy?

Better yet, why hasn't Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton taken up the Roy Brown cause?