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Fine Points of the Law

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In November, a jury acquitted Ms. Johnnie Miles, 42, of $7,500 worth of fraudulent credit-card transactions against a store in Vero Beach, Fla., and Miles assumed she had thus earned her freedom. However, Judge Dan Vaughn apparently considered Miles a disreputable rip-off artist (even though technically not guilty of "fraud") and used her schemings to convict her of violating probation on an earlier case. Florida law permits such collateral use of a defendant's behavior, and Vaughn sentenced Miles to five years on each of 11 probation violations, to be served consecutively.

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