Posted at December 11th, 2009 in Theft/Robbery
When we think of someone robbing from the rich and giving what they robbed to the poor, the first character that comes to mind is Robin Hood. A bank robber, charged with robbery in Walnut Creek, California, robbed $1,200 from the town bank, later confessed the crime to a priest and donated the cash to the parish. The only difference between Robin Hood and this Californian bank robber is that the bank robber donated the money because he felt remorseful, unlike Robin Hood, who only robbed to aid the poor people of Nottingham. The priest later called the police to inform them of the robber’s visit to the church and to return the money to the authorities. Any information disclosed in a confession to a priest is considered privileged communication. Therefore, the priest is not obligated to reveal the robber’s identity to the authorities, even though the robber did not disclose his name to the priest.
Most criminals are known for being remorseless individuals with no sense of right or wrong. This story illustrates a different perspective of a criminal’s prominent image. Criminals don’t always commit crimes because they are evil or don’t have the intelligence to understand the importance of obeying the law. This Walnut Creek, Robin Hood might have committed robbery to help his family in these tough financial times. Or, maybe he is your next door neighbor who just lost his job, and can’t support his family anymore. I’m not saying that what he did was correct or if he is found that he should not be convicted of the crime he committed, but we should definitely take a closer look at the incentives and social factors that drive people to commit crimes. Criminal defense lawyers or robbery lawyers have a duty to look into these things and present them to the court. The criminal attorney may not be trying to prove the defendant’s innocence; however he/she is simply trying to show the court that the defendant was in a difficult predicament in his/her life and made a horrible decision as a result.