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Two years given in dog's death
Dallas Morning News ^ | 5/18/2005 | Brandon Formby

Posted on 05/18/2005 8:14:29 PM PDT by sinkspur

Denton: Jury says man's record, behavior led to maximum sentence

DENTON – The man who taped a 1-year-old black Labrador retriever's mouth shut in July, causing the dog's death from heatstroke, will serve two years in state jail, a Denton County jury decided Wednesday.

"What he did was an unbelievably cruel act, and he deserved to be punished," lead prosecutor Tony Paul said after the trial.

Richard Swift, 43, of The Colony was convicted Wednesday morning of animal cruelty. Jurors decided on the maximum jail sentence allowed and fined him $5,000, half the maximum.

Some jurors said the crime combined with Mr. Swift's six previous criminal convictions – including manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and assault causing bodily injury – played a role in their decision.

"In the past, he's been given numerous chances to rehabilitate himself," juror Jon Burkhart said.

Mr. Swift was not eligible for probation because he once had probation revoked after he tested positive for marijuana and cocaine, prosecutors told jurors.

Derek Adame, Mr. Swift's attorney, said he was let down by the verdict and sentencing.

"You're always disappointed when things don't go your way," Mr. Adame said. "But I understand what they did and why they did it."

During his closing arguments, Mr. Adame conceded that Mr. Swift caused the death of the dog, Bull, but said that it was not intentional.

(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: denton; felony; tx
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1 posted on 05/18/2005 8:14:30 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: HairOfTheDog; ambrose

Call the dogs!!


2 posted on 05/18/2005 8:15:08 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: sinkspur

Sick bass turd. They oughta take that tape and shove it down his throat.


3 posted on 05/18/2005 8:16:29 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Leftists would have no standards at all)
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To: sinkspur

Good post.


4 posted on 05/18/2005 8:16:30 PM PDT by Dubya (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but by me)
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To: sinkspur

Was the guy's name Greer or Schiavo?


5 posted on 05/18/2005 8:17:07 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: sinkspur

Hope they send him to prison where he be in with the general population, he might need soap on the rope.


6 posted on 05/18/2005 8:17:45 PM PDT by StuLongIsland
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To: sinkspur
I hope he gets a few boots to the jaw, ribs, and knees while in prison.
7 posted on 05/18/2005 8:17:54 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan (Fire Stabenow in 2006)
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To: sinkspur

What a sick jerk.

I hope he rots.


8 posted on 05/18/2005 8:22:39 PM PDT by ambrose (NEWSWEAK LIED .... AND PEOPLE DIED)
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To: sinkspur

Greer and Schiavo should gt 2 years, also.


9 posted on 05/18/2005 8:24:48 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: sinkspur
Two years given in dog's death

The court should have reversed the dog years vs. human years equation and put that disgusting dirtbag in a dark, cold hole for 14 years.

10 posted on 05/18/2005 8:28:39 PM PDT by hole_n_one
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To: sinkspur
I think the sentence was excessive...
11 posted on 05/18/2005 8:32:38 PM PDT by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: babygene
I think the sentence was excessive...

He's a six-time loser. Perhaps he'll get the message over the next 24 months.

12 posted on 05/18/2005 8:35:29 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: AnOldCowhand

Here's the part where you get to say the guy was cheated because it "was just a dog!" LOL.


13 posted on 05/18/2005 8:35:50 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: babygene

Ok, I'll bite. Why is it excessive?


14 posted on 05/18/2005 8:36:01 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: sinkspur

meanwhile in an unrelated case, a Mass. court gave 2 years probations and 20 hours of community service to a man who rapped 10 children...


15 posted on 05/18/2005 8:46:25 PM PDT by Nyboe
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To: Calpernia
"Ok, I'll bite. Why is it excessive?"

Because we often do not punish crimes against people as harshly. Case in point: On the news tonight a woman who killed her newborn and dumped it in a dumpster was sentenced to 2 years today. That was in Idaho, one of the more conservative states...

It's also quite possible that a person (dirt bag in this case) would not realize that taping a dog's mouth shut would kill it. Dogs are muzzled all the time without ill effect to the dog.
16 posted on 05/18/2005 8:50:05 PM PDT by babygene (Viable after 87 trimesters)
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To: Nyboe
meanwhile in an unrelated case, a Mass. court gave 2 years probations and 20 hours of community service to a man who rapped 10 children...

Fitty Cent puts me in a funk, too.

17 posted on 05/18/2005 8:52:35 PM PDT by sinkspur (If you want unconditional love with skin, and hair and a warm nose, get a shelter dog.)
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To: sinkspur

Hope he was sentenced to Huntsville. He might learn something there.


18 posted on 05/18/2005 8:56:09 PM PDT by de Buillion (Jerusalem, 1099)
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To: babygene

Just because another crime isn't properly punished doesn't mean that this one might be excessive. It is the other that is insufficient.


19 posted on 05/18/2005 8:56:23 PM PDT by Ramius (I'd rather be lucky than good.)
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To: Nyboe

In an ill-advised moment, I once rapped to (or perhaps at) more than a dozen kids. It was unwise, sure, but I'm not sure it should have been illegal.


20 posted on 05/18/2005 8:57:47 PM PDT by Xenalyte (End women's suffrage! Hasn't the country suffered enough?)
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To: babygene

I know you guys/gals will hate this but...

I am too lazy to do the research on this but as it stands this is way too much. A dog(as much as I love them) is an animal.

To incarcerate someone for 2 years because a dog died due to him is ridiculous**.

I think there are better more immediate ways to deal with this guy. Give him the choice, 2 years in a REAL jail or soemthing else that would really suck. I think a beating of some sort would suffice.

I just base this on effing child molesters(male and female), murders, child killers and other human related criminals get way less than 2 years(OJ).

How about this guy has to do 3 years every saturday 8 hours at a shelter for animals(under supervision). Something more productive and less costly to the tax payers.

**And what will this guy learn in 2 years in prison. I am guesing he will get out and buy some dogs and kill them. Pick up some kittens and play roadsign bash with them. He will be pissed at animals for them(his actions) resulting in jail time.

I mean I loved all my dogs(and cats) but we need to level the punishment with human punishments.


21 posted on 05/18/2005 9:01:45 PM PDT by BookaT (My cat's breath smells like cat food!)
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To: babygene

I'd have to concur. As much as I love animals I can't equate animal and human life. This guy may be a loser, but does it serve society to lock him up for two years (at an expense of about $25,000 per year)? A few months, max, would have gotten the message across just as effectively.


22 posted on 05/18/2005 9:02:36 PM PDT by clearlight
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To: Xenalyte

you rapper you!!!


23 posted on 05/18/2005 9:02:42 PM PDT by landerwy
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To: sinkspur
How about 2 years, the fine, and this

over his mouth as punishment?

24 posted on 05/18/2005 9:03:25 PM PDT by kstewskis
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To: babygene

>>>It's also quite possible that a person (dirt bag in this case) would not realize that taping a dog's mouth shut would kill it. Dogs are muzzled all the time without ill effect to the dog.

If that is the case, he should be sterilized as well and kept from poluting the gene pool.

>>>On the news tonight a woman who killed her newborn and dumped it in a dumpster was sentenced to 2 years today. That was in Idaho, one of the more conservative states...

Then support her getting more time, not this idiot getting less.

Red state or Blue state, the judges aren't voted in by the citizens. They were placed by the admin we are still cleaning up after.


25 posted on 05/18/2005 9:03:31 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: clearlight

A few months wouldn't phase this guy. This guy has a long history of dealing with law enforcement. By this point, he can do two months standing on his head.


26 posted on 05/18/2005 9:04:10 PM PDT by Melas
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To: babygene

Excessively lenient.


27 posted on 05/18/2005 9:04:50 PM PDT by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: babygene

Dogs need to pant. It is their way of perspiring. Muzzles allow this.

Baby killers should get life without parole. The system is all wrong.


28 posted on 05/18/2005 9:07:14 PM PDT by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: BookaT

>>>>I mean I loved all my dogs(and cats) but we need to level the punishment with human punishments.

How about increasing the human punishments that are not fitting the crime?


29 posted on 05/18/2005 9:07:24 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: babygene

I don't see where it's excessive at all. With as many priors as this guy as, he deserves a couple years for almost anything. I might forgive a first time offender, but this is just another violent offense against another living thing for this guy. At some point you have to recognize the pattern and sentence appropriately.


30 posted on 05/18/2005 9:07:55 PM PDT by Melas
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To: Goodgirlinred
Baby killers should get life without parole the death sentence.

Ah, that is better.

31 posted on 05/18/2005 9:09:22 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

I agree. Silly me for not saying that first.


32 posted on 05/18/2005 9:11:20 PM PDT by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: sinkspur

I knew a guy who went to prison for stabbing a hog. He had a prior record. When he got out, he assaulted a guy....so back he went.


33 posted on 05/18/2005 9:16:21 PM PDT by TejasRose
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To: Goodgirlinred

You are not silly :)


34 posted on 05/18/2005 9:17:08 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: sinkspur

Two years? Hell, I've been here since '98!


35 posted on 05/18/2005 9:18:11 PM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: TejasRose

How is stabbing a hog a prisonable offence. I guess you have to have the intention of eating the hog when you are done stabbing and cooking it.

I mean what is the difference in stabbing a hog and slitting it's throat to kill it to eat it? Do they say ok it is mindset or what? I don't understand the difference. I understand the difference in mindset but. Did the family of the stabbed pig(if it died) bury it with a funeral or did they eat it?

I guess stabbing a deer would be considered excessively cruel as opposed to a good clean shot or you know some not so clean shots where they get to run around for a while.

I just think people whoudl recognise the difference between man and animal. I also think the punishments should reflect the crime. I.e. kill or hurt a person badly spend the rest of your life in jail or you die. An animal(because they are a source of food) killing should get nothing close to killing of a human. Now if the killing is of someone elses animal then that is different. But still not at the level of jail time(unless they can't pay the value of the animal)

I loved my dogs like crazy but I think if you can't realise your dog/cat is just that and you find your life could not go on without your dog/cat(working dogs are the exception) you need some help. Really, If you can't live without your animal you need help.


36 posted on 05/18/2005 9:35:30 PM PDT by BookaT (My cat's breath smells like cat food!)
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To: hole_n_one
The court should have reversed the dog years vs. human years equation and put that disgusting dirtbag in a dark, cold hole for 14 years.

Dead on!!!!!!!!!!!!

37 posted on 05/18/2005 9:37:00 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (First you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women (HJ Simpson))
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To: BookaT
This person didn't just kill an animal; he tortured it to death. If you don't care about the dog's agony, consider this: torturing animals is the hallmark of a psychopathic personality which is very dangerous to other people. Read the pertinent psychological literature. Someone who can take pleasure in an animal's suffering will kill you without a second thought.
38 posted on 05/18/2005 10:08:34 PM PDT by newsworthy (Culture is the engine of history.)
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To: BookaT
How is stabbing a hog a prisonable offence.

If I remember correctly, he did it as an act of revenge against the owner of the hog....plus cruelty to animal.

39 posted on 05/18/2005 11:09:47 PM PDT by TejasRose
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To: sinkspur
Some jurors said the crime combined with Mr. Swift's six previous criminal convictions – including manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and assault causing bodily injury – played a role in their decision.

The sentence was not excessive given this guy's history of violence.

40 posted on 05/18/2005 11:17:03 PM PDT by Northern Alliance
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To: BookaT

"An animal(because they are a source of food) killing should get nothing close to killing of a human. Now if the killing is of someone elses animal then that is different. But still not at the level of jail time(unless they can't pay the value of the animal)"

First of all, this guy got 2 years, so it isn't close to killing a human.

Second, if you think a companion animal is only "worth" his monetary value I feel sorry for you - you've obviously never had a pet who was a true member of the family.


41 posted on 05/18/2005 11:39:45 PM PDT by AggieCPA (Howdy, Ags!)
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To: FormerLib
Here's the part where you get to say the guy was cheated because it "was just a dog!" LOL.

DO NOT PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH.! I have never ONCE said that someone should not be punished (and severely) for abusing an animal. The fact that you have misconstrued my contention that animal abuse does not necessarily lead to human abuse/murder into me being tolerant of animal abuse, just goes to prove my contention that you really are not a Former Lib at all!

42 posted on 05/19/2005 8:33:12 AM PDT by AnOldCowhand (The west is dead. You may lose a sweetheart, but you will never forget her - Charles Russell)
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To: sinkspur
Here's an appropriate sentence for this sort of crime:


43 posted on 05/19/2005 8:38:31 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Calpernia

Thank you. :)


44 posted on 05/19/2005 9:18:48 AM PDT by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: BookaT

Pets become part of the family. Also, no animal deserves to be tortured. People who maim, torture, or kill animals for fun deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law. It has been shown that these people don't stop with animals. They go on to humans next.

Oh, and if anyone harms one of my pets, he better expect to be punished, and punished good!


45 posted on 05/19/2005 9:23:35 AM PDT by Goodgirlinred ( GoodGirlInRed Four More Years!!!!!)
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To: newsworthy
consider this: torturing animals is the hallmark of a psychopathic personality which is very dangerous to other people.

Beat me to it.

46 posted on 05/19/2005 9:28:09 AM PDT by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: BookaT
How about this guy has to do 3 years every saturday 8 hours at a shelter for animals(under supervision). Something more productive and less costly to the tax payers.

Excellent idea.

47 posted on 05/19/2005 9:39:59 AM PDT by dogbrain (memo to self: Don't drink from toilet; it's where liberals wash their hands....)
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To: newsworthy
This person didn't just kill an animal; he tortured it to death. If you don't care about the dog's agony, consider this: torturing animals is the hallmark of a psychopathic personality which is very dangerous to other people. Read the pertinent psychological literature. Someone who can take pleasure in an animal's suffering will kill you without a second thought.

As for his "torturing it to death", you're making a huge leap from the facts to your supposition of his motivation. What if he was just tired of the dog's continuous barking and was too stupid to know dogs need to pant to get rid of heat ?

As for the psychobabble about "pertinent psychological literature", I presume that comes from the same folks who declare homosexuality normal, and adult-child sex as beneficial to the child ?

Give me a break.

48 posted on 05/19/2005 10:25:12 AM PDT by jimt
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To: jimt
you're making a huge leap from the facts...What if he was...too stupid to know dogs need to pant to get rid of heat ?

Give me a break. There's no mention in the article of clinical retardation. Whether or not he intended to kill the animal is in any event irrelevant. He intended to inflict suffering.

As for the psychobabble about "pertinent psychological literature", I presume that comes from the same folks who declare homosexuality normal, and adult-child sex as beneficial to the child ?

I use critical thinking in evaluating the pronouncements of the psych community. Recent studies have confirmed what was always intuitively obvious to those with half of grain of conscience and common sense.

49 posted on 05/19/2005 10:48:26 AM PDT by newsworthy (Culture is the engine of history.)
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To: sinkspur

I can think of lots of things I would like to see done to this guy.

And think about it, would anyone here feel safe leaving anything or anyone helpless around him-- animal or human?
He's got a very dark, twisted soul.


50 posted on 05/19/2005 10:52:06 AM PDT by najida (OK, so, ya see, uh huh.....I have this stress problem....maybe it's living without running water.)
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