Kid Gets 5 Years For Friend’s Gun, Being Black

A teenager who was 15 years old when he ran off with some sneakers being sold on Facebook after trying them on, Dayonn Davis (who is 18 now) was tried as an adult and sentenced to 5 years in prison and 10 more on probation because the friend who accompanied him on this try-and-run shoe theft pulled a gun to cover Davis’ retreat. From CBS News:

Defense attorney Susan Henderson told Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters her client just wants to put the whole thing behind him and move on, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.

“He’s been extremely remorseful,” she said. “He’s got his life on track now.”

She insisted Davis didn’t know the other person would pull a gun. But the judge says that makes little difference in the eyes of the law.

If he wanted to commit non-violent violent crime as a “youth” and get away with less than 5 years, he should have joined the Stanford swim team. Not that there’s, y’know, anything significant about a Black kid getting 5 years in prison for running off with shoes while a juvenile when a white adult serves 90 days for rape. Just another day in the post-racial USA.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    He brought an accomplice/bodyguard to a planned robbery. Fuck him. I’ll bet he does want to put it behind him, poor dear.

    The Stanford sentence was an atrocity, no argument, but I can’t summon any pity for this thief.

  2. says

    My brother worked at Finish Line and got busted for stealing a bunch of shit at 16 or 17. If I recall correctly, he had to pay a small fine and certainly wasn’t tried as an adult. Though he didn’t have a gun, he took a lot more than a pair or two of shoes. It probably would’ve been much worse for him if he weren’t white.

    This seems like an obvious case where he should have been placed in a restorative justice program. Anecdotally – I volunteer with an organization that works with first-time juvenile offenders – that can work pretty well

  3. sonofrojblake says

    Stealing stuff from a shop is a very different thing than turning up at someone’s house with an (armed) accomplice and making off with their property. No sympathy for the victim?

  4. says

    As a victim of armed robbery myself, yes, I have sympathy for the victim. That doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into a “lock ’em up and throw away the key” punishment fetishist who doesn’t understand that a 15-year-old isn’t an adult either.

  5. says

    Ah, I didn’t see that. While I don’t really care about stealing from a shoe store, I can definitely acknowledge it sucks for victims of crimes like this. But, I still don’t think throwing this kid into the prison industrial complex is the answer.

  6. sonofrojblake says

    Ah, I didn’t see that.

    Seriously? How? It’s there in the first half of the first sentence of the story.

    But that rather makes my point for me – in the reporting of this story, the experience of the victim of this crime was minimised so much you didn’t even realise there was one. Consider how fucked up that is.

    Speculate: why does nobody care about the victim? I propose that if the victim was a white middle-class cheerleader named Stacy, the whole world would know her face by now. I propose further that the actual victim is another poor black male teenager (he was selling his shoes on Facebook), which is why you didn’t know he exists. Also pretty fucked up.

    And just because the USA prison system is one of the worst, most uncivilised in the world is not a reason to let violent acquisitive criminals go free. I agree five years is at the “a bit harsh” end of sentencing. But he’ll be out by his mid-twenties, and if he’s worth the oxygen he uses he won’t commit a crime again.

  7. fledanow says

    I don’t claim there is no racism in Canada. There’s plenty and I live in one of the centres of it here in the Great “Not-so White Anymore, Thank Immigration” North. But American racism is of a kind that constantly astonishes me because of how thoroughly it is woven into every single aspect of American government and civil life. And then there’s the effect of Old Testament sin and punishment thought that allows for sentences sending children to prison for long stretches in adult prisons even when it is widely accepted that the 15 year old brain is still far from fully developed and your prisons do not turn out good citizens. Christian morality applied to criminal justice is ugly.

    Do you honestly think that a five year sentence for this crime would be just for the fifteen year old boys you know? Ones you know well, not ones you see on the street and can make assumptions about. And not the outliers. Your average fifteen year old boys of your acquaintance. Do you honestly think that crime is worth such a boy spending what will be slightly less than one quarter of his life to date in prison for the crime? If you do, I suggest you need to check your sense of proportion.

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