Amnesty needed for ticket scoflaws

THIS is a good idea:

As New York moves to decriminalize low-level offenses, arguing enforcement is “rigged against communities of color,” other large cities are coming under pressure from the Justice Department to do the same thing.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch has issued a warning to municipal and state judges across the country that their courts could lose federal funding if they don’t ease up on fines and arrest warrants for minor crimes involving poor offenders, indigent minorities in particular.

In lieu of fines and jail time, Lynch urges the nation’s 6,500 municipal courts to provide an avenue for offenders to perform “community service” or take advantage of “amnesty days,” whereby outstanding arrest warrants are cleared for nominal fees.

But I can hear people muttering to themselves: “But they broke the LAW! They must pay the penalty!” Because middle- and upper-class whites don’t have cops lying in wait for them to violate some dumb-ass law. Poor people must be controlled by vigorous enforcement of ALL laws, don’t you know.

Let us examine some traffic fines. The fines grow to the point of losing one’s license. But we live in a world of urban sprawl where there is no affordable housing anywhere near places of employment, and often very poor mass transit to get people to and from work. So people continue to drive, placing them at risk of even more fines.

And money is ALL the municipalities will accept to clear the fines. That’s the purpose of the enforcement — to generate revenue to pay for MORE cops.

This is why I favor community service and amnesty days. And this is why cities like Peoria will fight like Hell against this.

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