John Morales, the actor who played McGruff the Crime Dog (you know: “Take a bite out of crime!”), was recently sentenced to sixteen years in prison three years after police seized a thousand marijuana plants and twenty-seven weapons (including a grenade launcher) from his house. Apparently he thought “Crime Dog” meant that he was supposed to be committing crimes. Or maybe he took a bite out of crime and just really liked the taste of it. I don’t know.
The way this situation unraveled gives me pause. Police stopped Morales for speeding. They apparently then found designs in his car for his pot plant operation. They then raided his house after finding the designs, and found the plants and weapons.
This was in Texas. According to the Second Amendment, his possession of all those weapons doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it looks suspicious even. He can own whatever arms he wants. As far as the marijuana plants are concerned, he would have been innocent of any crime if he had just moved to Colorado and registered with the state.
So, in the case of both the marijuana and the guns, ironically, McGruff the Crime Dog (the actor) is suffering from the police state that McGruff the Crime Dog (the character) helped to create. That’s sad.
Why is Morales going to jail? He didn’t hurt anyone. He is going to jail for sixteen years for non-violent crimes. That’s also sad.
It’s time for the United States to seriously rethink our penal system. We have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. We put more of our citizens in jail per capita than North Korea. We’re worse than China and Iran. Does that compute? It should be disturbing to us that we throw so many non-violent offenders in jail. Let the sad, ironic cautionary tale of McGruff the Crime Dog be a lesson to us.