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UPDATE2: Nightmare has pled-plead-pleaded guilty

March 8, 2014

Back in September, ZombieLaw first mentioned Martin Ulrich Hinrichs also known as “Nightmare” when the Coloma Township Police Dept (in Michigan) put out an APB on its Facebook in connection to the zombie-masked robbery of a Wesco station.

nightmare zombie mask robbery

In October, ZombieLaw updated this story when “Nightmare” was arrested in Florida and it was reported that he broke the police car rear window while under arrest.

Today in the Herald Palladium: “‘Nightmare’ pleads guilty” by Scott Aiken is a rather thorough reporting. It says he pleaded to armed robbery, another charge was dismissed and he won’t be treated as a habitual offender status. He is scheduled for sentencing on April 14th and still “faces a sentence of up to life in prison.” Aiken writes:

A heavily tattooed Coloma man who wore a zombie mask to hold up a gas station on Sept. 20 has pleaded guilty to armed robbery. Martin Hinrichs, 23, told a Berrien County Trial Court judge that he and some friends had been doing drugs, needed money, and came up with the idea of robbing the Wesco International gas station on North Paw Paw Street in Coloma.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Debra Cassens Weiss at ABA Journal asked “Is it ‘pleaded’ or ‘pled’?“. It seems that statistics of actual usages by the U.S. Supreme Court and advice from the editor of Black’s Law Dictionary concur on the use of “pleaded”. However, nearly 70% of the over 3000 survey participants preferred “pled”. A comment from DB wrote:

Actually, I thought it was “plead” not “pled”

The first line of Mr. Aiken’s article used “pleaded” but the headline uses “pleads”. So there is a dual issue of spelling and grammatical tense. Either way, who cares! Grammar is for zombies! Let’s care about people. Let’s care about what will happen to Nightmare?

Twenty-three years old and facing a life in prison. And because he got high and shared a dumb group-think idea. Well, at least he got to see Florida before being incarcerated. How much will his body now cost the system? Or is the nasty open secret that the system profits of the exploitation of people like this. First, seducing him to the life that led to his crime (see an entertainment industry that glorifies criminal violence) and now he’ll become a long-term cog in the prison industrial machine.

How much money was already spent by the system in moving him from Florida to Michigan. What if that money had instead been spent on his early childhood education? Not that I have any idea what his early childhood was like, maybe he was a prep school kid gone rogue, but probably not.

We could consider Nightmare’s actions as a social cost on the system or we could instead consider all those people who have profited and will continued to profit on maintaining Nightmare’s role in this system. They take home paychecks for maintaining the criminal justice system, they are the system, and that system is profiting on Nightmare’s body. If there were no criminals, there would be no criminal justice system, and so the criminal justice system, like a factory farm, needs criminals as it’s product-meat.

And as with Disney or bacon advertising, there are always hidden market forces driving people to become corporate profits. Not every bacon advertisement becomes a bacon sale, and not every Grand Theft Auto play becomes a crime committed, but surely some of this is related or else companies wouldn’t pay for bacon advertising.

They pay for advertising because they know it works. In fact, I don’t know if it’s related, but I wrote about that bacon ad yesterday and last night I lost the willpower to resist pepperoni pizza. (I know, gross.) I didn’t consciously think of the Oscar Meyer ad when I was debating myself over food craving. I haven’t caved to meat-temptation in a while. I was hungry, tired, mildly intoxicated, was it that advertisement from earlier in the day that weakened my willpower, probably not, but it’s a strong coincidence.

I didn’t realize until I sat back to blog today. So, some poor pig was tortured for my two dollars worth of pepperoni. I feel bad about that. But thankfully, I’m not going to life in prison because of that weak decision-making. And I’ll try to eat less animal products in the rest of my meals… As with grammar, we do our best and try not to beat ourselves up too much about the small things; try to consider the deeper meanings and potential for larger systemic change.

But fear arises, can one study texts with a critical eye and still become subliminally contaminated by their messaging? I consciously processed the advertisement and even wrote about it’s intended effects and still the coincidence of my weakened will is too strong to be ignored.

Language is the virus that makes zombies of us all. You cannot unhear a meme and it will contaminate you in ways you will never understand. I should probably be more careful in how I study “zombie”. Reading might be more dangerous than I had previously considered. Somebody send Nightmare a good book, he’s got some time…

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