The Akron Beacon Journal reported today
that alleged kidnapping victim James Finch chose 15 minutes of fame over justice.
Apparently, Finch was hogtied and robbed by William Archibold back in May. Archibold -- who already had a well rounded criminal record with robbery and drug convictions -- was quickly charged with felonies, including aggravated robbery and kidnapping, that could have landed him in prison for 20 years.
The prosecution's case rested entirely on Finch's testimony. But when his day in court rolled around on July 31, Finch instead opted to appear on the Ohio Lottery's Make Me Famous Make Me Rich game show, where he stood the chance to win $50,000. His brilliant decision forced Summit County prosecutors to strike a plea bargain with Archibold, who was convicted of little more than a few misdemeanors and two years of probation. ''They put me in a spot where I either go on the game show or go to court. How many times do you get a chance to go on TV to win money like that? It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and they kind of tied my hands in court,'' Finch told the Beacon.
Finch only won $1,633. If ever there was a perfect example of contemporary stupidity, this is it. It's a scary thought to realize that many Americans, when forced to choose between enabling justice or appearing on a low-rent local TV show, would chose the latter.
Aside from wasting loads of taxpayer dollars -- $110 a day for Archibold's stay in jail, and $472 a day plus expenses for the visiting judge who presided over the case - Finch also allowed a dangerous man to go free.
If you want to see this moron in action, his taped appearance will be televised on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on WEWS Channel 5
. – Denise Grollmus