A local high school teacher chose prison over probation in an odd case out of Salisbury, N.C.
The Salisbury Post reported that Paul Greene, 30 will serve a 20 month term in prison rather than do a plea deal which would otherwise allow him be sentenced to probation?
The reason apparently was that the plea deal allowed Green to maintain his “innocence” while acknowledging that prosecutors have evidence to get a conviction in this case.
Greene was arrested and charged in 2010 on three counts of felony indecent liberty with a minor, involving a 17-year-old girl. Greene was alleged to have kissed and touched the girl in an inappropriate way while being a teacher at Rowan County high School.
Attempts to reach Greene for a comment by telephone were unsuccessful on Friday.
It seems he should have tried to avoid prison in this case.
It strikes people as odd he did not do that in this case.
“Why go to prison if you don’t have to say Charlotte resident, Pam Johnson. “It doesn’t make a sense.”
The cost to imprison Greene will cost the state of North Carolina in excess of $23,575 dollars per year (see website http://www.doc.state.nc.us/dop/cost/)
“Look the guy has no job, and he is a convicted felon. He is basically screwed for life”, said Tommy Peters, who works as dishwasher in the Charlotte area and is a convicted felon himself. “I wonder if this has more to do with financial problems or losing his health care coverage, than anything else. If you’re sick the state has to pay for your hospital care”, said Peters. “But, other than that nobody in their right mind chooses prison if they can avoid it – at least nobody that I know. Prison after all is a very dangerous place, even under the best of cirumstances in North Carolina. Take it from me. You can get stabbed, assaulted, beaten up or even raped in prison.”
The Charlotte Observer actually ran a “blip” on this story on Thursday which had some people talking about it at the Mattie’s Diner. A regular by the name of Tom Sullivan said “opinions are mixed. Some people say he deserves to go to prison. Others say he suffered enough by losing his job at the school. All he done was just kiss the girl. A girl who was 17 years old? Geez wiz, it not like he raped her or something.”
Some wonder if it isn’t a matter of principle with Greene? Or his way of maintaining his innocence in a system that won’t really allow you to do that – not without suffering for it?
On the other hand if he would have just plead guilty in this case he would be literally marked for life. Maybe he is planning on fighting this later on? I guess we will never know whats really going on here? One thing’s for sure taxpayers will be footing the entire bill in this case for Mr. Greene’s stay in the penitentiary.
This doesn’t sit pretty with some folks who I talked to about this situation who are concerned about the cost of Mr. Greene’s “decision” to go to prison, rather than go ahead with probation in this case.
Larry Conway an accountant in Charlotte said “Greene should never have been allowed to choose to go to jail in the first place! Because of the cost to taxpayers. I don’t know about you but I for one resent having to pay for his stay there! Especially at a cost of $23,000 a year. Thats more money than my wife makes working full time at Dillards department store here in town.”