Here is the how the story begins at the Gaston Gazette.
James Richard Verone woke up June 9 with a sense of anticipation.
He took a shower.
Ironed his shirt.
Hailed a cab.
Then robbed a bank.
And why did this guy decide one morning to just up and rob a bank? The LA Times has the answer:
The unemployed, uninsured 59-year-old has a growth on this chest, two ruptured disks and something wrong with his left foot. He figured if he held up a bank for a dollar, he’d get thrown in the slammer and be seen by a doctor.
Unfortunately for Verone, health care in jail can sometimes amount to no treatment at all. Also, there is good reason to think that Verone’s actions did not constitute a crime. As Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy notes:
The irony of the story is that I’m not sure Verone actually committed the crime of which he was charged. I gather the crime is General Statutes § 14–72(b)(1), which prohibits theft from a person. Theft requires intent to permanently deprive another of property. But it’s not clear that Verone had any intent to permanently deprive the bank of its money. If I understand the facts, he just wanted to do what was necessary to be arrested, without any actual intent to deprive others of their stuff (thus the $1 request). Verone wants people to know why he committed his act, so they know he’s not a bad guy. But I think his reason shows that he lacked the intent that the crime requires; if I’m right about that, Verone is actually not guilty of the crime charged.
Mr. Verone, I strongly suggest that once you are free from your current predicament that you think twice about putting your health care decisions in the hands of overbudgeted prison administrators and doctors. Take this advice from someone who knows.