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Felon Friendly

John W. Pinkerton


Facebook just keeps on giving.

My wife, Linda, pointed out a post on a local group page for Somerville…we have several.

A lady posted the following: “I'm looking for a felon friendly rental property.”

She must have changed her mind about the “rental” part---perhaps because of a fellow who advised her to purchase rather than rent.  She added in a second post: “I'm looking for a couple of acres with a mobile home.  Does anyone know of anything?  Purchase, not rent.”

In response one fellow posted, “In Somerville?  Can you even live in Somerville if you have a clean record?”

Another respondent posted, “Never heard of that one before but that's funny.”

A “kind” soul posted, “Excuse the rude people.  Some people's mothers never taught them how to act kind.”

I found this post colorful, “Try Freedom Ranch at PR57.  The place is full of felons and the leader is a convicted pedophile.”  This one got a response, “Wow.  Sounds so warm and inviting,” and “Yeah---real Norman Rockwell atmosphere---NOT.”

Another “kind” soul posted, “Just because someone had a felony does not automatically mean an evil person.  Everyone has broken the law in some form or the other…they just didn't get caught.  Maybe you seen Con Air one too many times.”

Here is another, “Not all felons are created equal.  So an embezzler of some cash from the PTA felon or fed the bodies of his/her victims through a wood chipper felon.”

Then someone gave some sage advice, “If you could buy this house, little as 6 to $10,000 down, your mortgage would be less than any rental; then after a year, you could sell it for more than you bought it for and get your down payment back as well.  It might be a stretch but it's a wealth growth plan.”

I like this post, “All felons are accepted in Summerville (spelling).  I love that place.  Everyone is just overall kind.”

I'm really undecided if I should laugh or cry.  What seems odd to me is that the person who made the post might as well hang a sign around her neck saying, “I'm a felon.”

I checked to see what percentage of the US population are felons: it turns out as of 2010 it was 8%.  I'm relatively sure that the numbers haven't gone down in the last decade.

In case you're interested in what is a felonious crime, the different classifications of felonies, and the accompanying penalties, see the following:

First Degree Felonies

οConfinement for life or from five to ninety-nine years and a possible fine not to exceed $10,000

οPossibility of community supervision


οAggravated assault of public servant

οAggravated kidnapping

οAggravated robbery

οAggravated sexual assault

οAttempted capital murder

οArson of habitation

οBurglary of a habitation with intent to commit or commission of a felony

οCausing serious bodily injury to child, senior citizen, or disabled person

οEscape from custody (if serious bodily injury occurs)


οSolicitation of capital murder

οTrafficking of persons under the age of fourteen

Second Degree Felonies

οTwo to twenty years in prison and possible fine not to exceed $10,000

οPossibility of community supervision


οAggravated assault




οEvading arrest (and death of another occurs)

οImproper relationship between educator and student

οIndecent contact with a child

οIntoxication manslaughter


οOnline solicitation of a minor under fourteen

οPossession of fifty to 2000 pounds of marijuana


οSexual assault

οStalking---second offense

οTrafficking of persons

Third Degree Felonies

οTwo to ten years in prison and possible fine not to exceed $10,000

οPossibility of community supervision


οAggravated perjury

οBail jumping of a felony arrest

οDeadly conduct with a firearm

οEscape from felony custody

οIndecent exposure to a child

οIntoxication assault

οPossession of a firearm by a felon



οDWI (third offense)

οTampering with evidence

οViolation of protective order (third offense)

State Jail Felonies

ο180 days to two years in a state jail and possible fine not to exceed $10,000

οPossibility of community supervision

οPossibility of punishment as Class A misdemeanor


οBurglary of a building

οCoercing a minor to join a gang by threatening violence

οCredit card abuse

οCriminally negligent homicide

οCriminal nonsupport

οCruelty to animals

οDWI with child passenger

οEvading arrest in a vehicle

οFalse alarm or report

οForgery of a check

οFraudulent use or possession of identifying information

οWhite collar fraud getting a hard money loan

οImproper photography or visual recording

οInterference of child custody

οPossession of less than one gram of a controlled substance

οTheft of something valued between $1500 and $20,000

οUnauthorized use of a vehicle

Now, I can understand folks who have rental property not wanting to rent to felons.  As for purchasing property, I suspect that is not a problem.  If you have the money, they will negotiate.

As for Somerville being a “kind” community---yeah, that's probably correct.