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Justice Served? Homeless Arsonist Ordered to Pay $101 Million


Steven Emory Butcher sleeps in a tent, but the law seems to think he's a millionaire. After setting fires in 2002 and 2006 that destroyed 160,000 acres of national forest, the homeless man was sentenced to four years in prison and $101 million in fines.

While in prison, the arsonist will have to pay $100 each year toward his fine. Once he's out, he must contribute $50 a month for the rest of his life. Right now Steven lives on government disability insurance, but if he gets a job, his payments will be adjusted accordingly.

Since the law requires anyone who has damaged property repay the cost of the lost property to the victim, the judge ignored how much Steven could afford. While it's crucial to send a message to arsonists that such destructive and dangerous activity will be punished, do you think the punishment fit the crime in this case?

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