Mon­strous crime

A woman was ar­rested in amer­ica for be­ing 10 years late in re­turn­ing a rented video­tape of a mon­strously bad movie.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - INBOX - ja­son god­frey Ja­son God­frey can be seen host­ing The LINK on Life In­spired (Astro B.yond Ch 728).

THIS week the news in Amer­ica re­ported a ma­jor vic­tory for law en­force­ment – a South Carolina woman was ar­rested for fail­ing to re­turn a VHS video­tape she had rented.

Yep, we can all rest eas­ier know­ing that this fiend is be­hind bars.

Or at least she was. Twenty-seven-year-old Kayla Michelle Fin­ley spent a night in jail for not re­turn­ing a video that she had rented in 2005! That’s al­most ten years of late fees – if the video store she had rented from is ac­tu­ally still in busi­ness, which it isn’t.

Even worse for the poor “of­fender”, she’s in this mess be­cause of her inane de­sire to watch the movie Monster-In-Law. Re­mem­ber that one? Nope? You’re not alone.

Star­ring Jennifer Lopez and Michael Var­tan – the lat­ter prob­a­bly best known as that guy from the TV show Alias who re­acted to di­a­logue, mur­ders, and even ex­plo­sions by smirk­ing and wrin­kling his fore­head – the film was largely de­cried by crit­ics and au­di­ences.

It re­ceived a mea­gre 16% “fresh rat­ing” on Rot­ten Toma­toes (the web­site which com­piles movie re­views) and gen­er­ated crit­i­cal re­views like, “unin­spired com­edy”, “ut­terly generic Hol­ly­wood mess” and “plays like a re­ally bad sit­com from forty years ago”.

This is the movie she went to jail for. At least in 2005, Fin­ley would have been just 18 and could chalk up her movie choices to her youth­ful in­ex­pe­ri­ence. Still, it’s Monster-in

Law. Ugh. The hap­less movie watcher was re­leased on a US$2,000 (RM6,600) bond. I sup­pose they didn’t deny bail since Fin­ley prob­a­bly isn’t an “on­go­ing threat” to so­ci­ety, be­cause it would be pretty hard for her to re­peat her crime. Steal­ing a video­tape? I wouldn’t even know where to steal one from.

Think­ing harder about this en­tire news item makes it even more bizarre. A lot of stars have to align for you to get ar­rested and jailed for re­turn­ing a video late – even if it was a decade over­due – and the stars def­i­nitely aligned for poor Kayla Michelle Fin­ley.

First, you have to re­ally piss off the owner of the video store bad enough that they ac­tu­ally re­port a VHS tape stolen to the po­lice. A VHS tape prob­a­bly costs less than US$10 (RM33), so in the amount of time it takes to file the re­port, you prob­a­bly could have made that money back work­ing the counter at a fast food chain. That’s one irate owner.

With an ac­tive war­rant, you would think it would lead to a per­son’s ar­rest sooner rather than later, but it turns out the po­lice in Pick­ens County re­ally didn’t give high pri­orty to a miss­ing copy of Monster-In-Law. In­stead of knock­ing her door down with a SWAT team, the po­lice sent cer­ti­fied letters ask­ing the al­leged crim­i­nal to “turn her­self in”; letters Fin­ley says she never re­ceived. And the po­lice, right­fully, took no ac­tion.

Sec­ondly, with a po­lice force that takes no in­ter­est in your crime, you would pretty much have to deliver yourself for ar­rest, which is what Fin­ley did. She was in the sher­iff’s of­fice on “an­other mat­ter” when the Pick­ens County Po­lice found an old war­rant on her and made the ar­rest. I guess it was pretty slim “Pick­ens” for the cops that day (sorry, I couldn’t re­sist).

Get­ting ar­rested and fac­ing crim­i­nal charges for not re­turn­ing a VHS copy of Monster-In

Law is just ridicu­lous. But what’s even more ridicu­lous is that the po­lice, courts, and jus­tice sys­tem in the United States had to ded­i­cate any amount of time to Fin­ley.

Surely, the po­lice have more im­por­tant tar­gets? Mur­der­ers, drug deal­ers, the ar­chi­tects of the eco­nomic col­lapse of 2008 maybe? I mean, all Fin­ley did was make a copy of

Monster-In-Law dis­ap­pear – why, that’s prac­ti­cally a pub­lic ser­vice.

And in this age of wan­ton so­cial me­dia post­ing, Fin­ley has be­come a joke. It doesn’t mat­ter that she claims in­no­cence, that her hus­band changed jobs, prompt­ing a move and sub­se­quent for­get­ting of where she put that cov­eted VHS copy of cin­e­matic gold.

The In­ter­net has been quick to poke fun at this be­lea­guered woman with one CNN com­menter stat­ing, “They should sen­tence her to time al­ready served. She’ll never get back the two hours she spent watch­ing that movie.”

Of course, Fin­ley al­legedly took to so­cial me­dia, voic­ing her in­no­cence and call­ing on her In­ter­net crit­ics to “quit judg­ing” and call­ing the charges “bo­gus”.

Both of which prob­a­bly did noth­ing to help her sit­u­a­tion.

My only sug­ges­tion to Fin­ley is to push the al­ready ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion into ri­donku­lous ter­ri­tory by fight­ing these charges and claim­ing the de­fence of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion; that she had to keep the copy of Monster-In-Law be­cause it was so ter­ri­ble that bring­ing it back to the video store posed a risk to the gen­eral pub­lic.

That’s a trial I’d pay money to see.

Monster-In-Law, star­ring Jennifer Lopez (right) and Jane Fonda, was panned as a ‘re­ally bad sit­com’. and a woman was re­cently ar­rested for re­turn­ing a rented VHS video­tape of this hor­ri­ble movie 10 years late. Go fig­ure.

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