I think its very unfair to throw people in jail because they couldn’t pay a fine. Does that really serve justice? Jail may make the law enforcers feel better about punishing the offender, but while the offender is sitting in jail, they are thinking to themselves that the only reason they are in jail is because they are poor, not because they are guilty.
Time and time again, people get thrown in jail just because they don’t have the legal funds set aside to fight their charges. It may not be easy to fight charges, but remember this: OJ Simpson got off his murder charges. Or, even think of Casey Anthony, or George Zimmerman. It’s not completely about serving justice or having money. It’s about raising a good defense.
As more and more poor people are thrown in jail, we have to question the perspectives of the judges. Only the poor person knows how poor they are. The judge doesn’t know. They assume that most people are Wiley when placed under pressure. Give the offender an ultimatum and they will come through, right. This is not always the case. I think its an unfair approach because it tackles a subject outside of the issue of serving justice in the first place.
Fine them until they are broke, that will stop their bad behavior. Now, we are leaving the legal realm and entering an economic field which judges are not qualified to talk about. You, then have to question the value of money and resources. What if people abandon the dollar system and stockpile grain or oil instead and pay with that? They can be resource rich and cash poor. Some things can just be traded without using money.
The judges need to consider more than a persons ability to pay. Ultimately, they are trying to stop a bad behavior, if the person admits to the wrong-doing. Of which, it’s never wise to admit to the wrong-doing in the first place, because you strip away a barrier between yourself and a decision for unfair punishment. But if you absolutely want to be punished, there are better ways to have it done.
When I got in trouble with the law, I gave in and admitted guilt. I regretted doing it now. I wish I had fought it more, but I really felt a lot of stress, for personal reasons. I can understand the stress people experience from being blamed for an infraction of the law. They just want to be out of the court room as fast as possible. I also wanted to be out of the court room as quick as possible.
After admitting guilt and accepting a $50 fine, I wrote to the judge. I said that I don’t have the money to pay. I then asked to volunteer my time somewhere to work off my debt. She received my letter and agreed to have me volunteer for 10 hours somewhere to work off my fine. It was a small victory, but justice was served.
Two other times I received $20 Parking Violations each. I pled “not guilty” and won. I demonstrated that I moved my vehicle and that showed in the interest in justice that the infraction was responded to in a positive way.
Each case is different. But don’t let the law threaten and bully you with their statements that they can further compile greater charges on you for fighting them. They are set up to be challenged. We are not living in a Communist country that accepts laws unquestionably. People understand that the law needs to be dynamic for each case. Everything needs to be handled on a case by case basis.
The problem with the law is that they put a lot of stress on your well-being and try to intimidate you into complying with whatever they say. They can and have used deadly force in the past to get their way. Just remember that there are other people who also go through similar issues like yours and we should all stand in solidarity to have our issues with the legal system resolved.