There have been a number of cases in the news this year of young women who were used as straw purchasers, getting guns for boyfriends and other males who are legally barred from buying guns themselves.
A straw purchaser is someone who buys a gun and then gives it to someone who cannot pass a criminal background check
These women were arrested and convicted and are now serving time–a lot of time. Twenty-two-year-old Philadelphia resident Staci Dawson is serving 6-12 years. She leaves behind her 3-year-old daughter.
Dawson was sentenced for purchasing guns for her boyfriend, David Colon, who had a felony record. Colon coached her on how to lie to the police. He assured her she would never be arrested. And then she was.
Now Dawson has joined the miserable and growing sorority of incarcerated mothers whose children are being raised by someone other than themselves. From 1980 to 2012, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of women in U.S. prisons exploded from 13,258 to 113,605. Among those who are mothers, 64 percent of them lived with their children before they were sent to prison, as opposed to 47 percent of fathers.
David Polaneczky, the author of the piece on Staci Dawson said the following:
Dawson was convicted of buying two guns, one week apart, for her then-boyfriend, David Colon. He and his friend then coached Dawson on how to report the weapons as stolen, which she did. Problem was, both men were in jail at the time and their phone conversations with her were recorded.
This included the part where Colon assured Dawson that he’d never allow her to get arrested; if she were, he vowed, he’d take the blame for her crime. (His promise became moot a few months later, when Colon – a suspect in two homicides – was himself murdered.)
How many young girls in Staci’s position say NO? How can we help them say NO? Should straw purchasers do time? How much time? Should we hold them as accountable as their boyfriends?
Let us know what you think about this case, how straw purchasers are treated by the justice system, and what it would take to help them make the right choice.
To read the entire article, click here:http://articles.philly.com/2014-11-17/news/56396743_1_straw-purchase-brad-fox-law-sentence