Home > News and politics > The “Barefoot Bandit” Bankroll

The “Barefoot Bandit” Bankroll

17-Jul-10 09:27 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments
Colton Harris-More taking a self-portrait with a portable camera in 2009.  This image was released to the media by his mother (if I recall media reports correctly) and was re-posted here from his Facebook fan page.
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kay, I’ll admit — I do admire Colton Harris-Moore.  But I’m not sexually attracted to him, I don’t want to write him fan mail, and I certainly don’t want him to get away with his 1-man crime wave unpunished.  And I’m starting to wonder if, in this, I’m in the minority.

I mean, good Lord: I got curious about a link I saw on this Facebook fan page and was horrified to find, when I clicked on the link, that there are a good number of people willing to donate money to his legal defence!  I’d hate to think these people actually support the notion that someone can break into houses, steal & crash planes, jeopardize lives and get away with it!  But when you setup a fund for someone’s legal defence, it’s usually done because the defendant is thought to be deserving of extra support to ensure the best possible legal defence and to assure a just verdict of “not-guilty”.  Normally, people don’t donate money to such causes that are likely to result in a guilty verdict due to overwhelming evidence in any event.  (I mean, what for?  The money would simply line the defence lawyer’s pockets.)

What’s remarkable about Harris-Moore is that he was clever enough to evade the considerable law enforcement resources brought to bear in his capture and arrest.  Clearly, he’s a smart guy and I, for one, am drawn toward smart people.  Always have been.  But at the same time, I think it a massive waste of intellect and really a tragedy that he’s used that intellect to do so much damage.  I mean, I hear people say “well he didn’t hurt or kill anyone”; which isn’t really true since stealing and vandalizing property is patently doing harm.  But the fact he didn’t kill anyone doesn’t somehow earn him my favour either, so why anyone could think this argument relevant is beyond me.

Likewise you’ll see the opposite extreme being touted on You Tube where a number of videos related to his exploits have appeared.  The Law-and-Order wing nuts out there seem to want him made an example of; some even call for the death penalty Naturally, as a Canadian, I’m among the traditional majority who opposes the death penalty for a number of reasons I won’t get into just now.  But even were I in favour of it, the simple fact is Harris-Moore isn’t alleged to have committed any capital crimes.  So why would his notoriety somehow make him deserving of such an injustice as wrongful execution is as puzzling as this fund for his legal defence.

But that’s the Internet, for ya, I suppose.

Like a good many people, I suspect my curiosity will lead me to tune into the next upcoming chapter: his trial for crimes committed after he skipped out on the half-way house he was staying at.  And then we’ll all want to see if his notoriety can be sustained long enough to be useful when he’d finally served his sentences…assuming he doesn’t escape yet again.  Will he write a book?  Will he participate in the production of a movie (of which there is much talk)?  Or perhaps his genius will find a more natural and productive outlet….

Stay tuned!

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Terry Glavin

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