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Editorial: Cullman ex-deputy's sentence no punishment

The Decatur Daily (Alabama)

Cullman County, Al

Aug. 12--A former Cullman County deputy sheriff has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $91,000 in evidence money, and his sentence is to repay what amounts to a loan.

He also received five years of probation instead of jail time for taking $91,315 from the Cullman County Sheriff's Office evidence room, where he worked for a decade.

The sentence is more like forcing 39-year-old Mark Wayne Maddox to sign a promissory note for a loan he'd taken out at the bank.

Not many judges would agree to allow a robber to put back money taken from a bank, if he agreed to never rob again and to stay out of more trouble for five years.

But this case apparently had problems for the prosecution. "There isn't anything about the situation you can feel good about," Sheriff Tyler Roden said. "It was just a difficult problem that had to be dealt with. I think we handled it well."

Translated, Roden probably meant the state had a weak case because the sheriff's office did such a poor job of ac-counting for the evidence money. The department has since changed how it handles confiscated money, and Maddox got an interest-free loan.

To see more of The Decatur Daily, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, The Decatur Daily, Ala. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information

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