Tucsonan Walter Staton, 27, might have thought he was being kind when, as part of the group No More Deaths, he continued to leave water jugs in the desert for illegal immigrants.
A federal jury called this “kindness” littering, and found the guy guilty of knowingly leaving debris in a National Wildlife Refuge.
Jury Finds Tucson Man Guilty, District of Arizona’s Office of the U.S. Attorney news release
The evidence at trial showed that the defendant was a member of an organization called No More Deaths, whose volunteers sometimes leave water jugs on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in the hopes that illegal aliens crossing the border will use the water. On December 4, 2008, Staton left water jugs on the Refuge despite knowing that he could be ticketed for littering. Staton had previously been quoted in news articles stating that despite a prior conviction of another member of his group for the same violation, that he would continue to leave plastic water jugs in the Refuge.
A conviction for knowingly littering carries a maximum penalty of one year confinement, a $100,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Guerin will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
Staton deserves some type of punishment for two reasons:
1. He snubbed his nose at previous warnings
2. He’s technically abetting criminals, no?
What do you think?
Is a year in prison and $100,000 a ridiculous maximum punishment?
Should he punished at all?
Is No More Deaths doing the right thing?