041514 Missouri Anderson

Cornealious “Mike” Anderson was all set to serve his 13-year prison term for the armed robbery of a Burger King manager back in 1999. But once he posted bail, no one looked for him – until the end of his sentence.

“He then waited and waited and waited for the Missouri Department of Corrections to give him a date to surrender and begin serving his sentence,” Anderson’s attorney, Patrick Michael Megaro, told Today. “That day never came.”

The state mistakenly believed Anderson was already serving his sentence, but he was actually living as a free man.

“He got married, had children, opened a successful business, coached youth football, joined a church group,” Magaro said in a report from NBC’s Joe Fryer. “Did everything that you would expect a normal person to do because in his mind, he believed that maybe the courts had changed their mind.”

Or more like hoped they had changed their minds.

But at what would’ve been the end of his sentence, the state realized a “clerical error” and promptly arrested Anderson, who didn’t hide the entire 13 years.

“I never felt like a fugitive because a fugitive’s someone that’s running from the law,” Anderson said during a radio interview. “I never ran from the law. I was there.”

But as of today, Anderson awaits a ruling from the state Attorney General’s office on whether he must still serve his sentence.

The manager Anderson robbed believes Anderson should remain free at this point.

“It’s their fault, so I mean it’s like they’re going to try and penalize him for another 13 years,” said the man, identified by his first name of Dennis. “That don’t seem right.”

Clutchettes and Gents, do you think Anderson should remain free or begin his sentence 13 years later?

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  • fujoshifanatic

    If he did not do anything in the time he was free to get himself arrested, I say leave him alone. He is obviously “rehabilitated”–he works, does community service, and is a contributing member of society. Why waste their time with him when they could be spending those incarceration dollars on people who need to be put away?

  • scallywag

    The case forces a dialogue as to what we mean by crime and punishment and exhibits instances where punishment is not necessary to exact rehabilitation, especially as in this case, the perpetrator’s income continued to increase whilst on the outside which draws parallels that crime and punishment is so often about punishing those on the lower economic totem poles who feel that they are forced to pursue crime to stay sound. Is it any wonder then that going to prison only fosters recidivism and the endless catch 22 of crime being perpetrated by the poor? What do we then really mean by rehabilitation and is prison really achieving that or is that just an illusion of what going to jail is about ?