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Afternoon Question — Plea Deals That Keep Giving

"KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Travis Lockie already had two drunken-driving convictions when he was arrested for the same offense earlier this year. He might have faced months in jail. Instead, the prosecutor cut him an unusual deal: A $1,400 donation to a local charity got him treated like a first-time drunken-driving offender. Lockie paid, and left court a free man. But the next day, Lockie, a 32-year-old construction worker, was arrested for driving drunk again. He asked his new lawyer to get him the same deal as last time. Instead, the lawyer, Chris Herion, filed court documents telling a judge of the odd arrangement — and the fact that Lockie's donation never reached the charity. Herion, in effect, had blown the whistle on an open secret in Benton County District Court."

For the rest of the story by Jonathan Martin/Seattle Times, click here.

Question: Is this a clever way to raise doughnations for charitable causes? Or totally unethical? (Hat Tip: Bill McCrory for bringing this to HBO's attention.)

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.