The good citizens and police in Crystal Springs, Colorado are finding out the hard way that it doesn’t pay to issue tickets to the homeless.
Let me give you a little leagal background first. Now of course, a ticket is a summons to appear in court for a misdemeanor, in most cases. A misdemeanor could land the offender in county jail for up to one year, if the sentence was any longer it would have to be a felony. Most of Chico’s City Code violations are misdemeanors.
Okay, let’s say you were cited to appear in court to answer a charge of “illeghal camping in the city park.” It could have been panhandling in front of downtown businesses or perhaps defrauding an inkeeper by failing to pay for your meal, etc. You pick the charge. The list of possible petty crimes is long, but you probably get the idea where this is going, right?
This is about the so-called homeless problem plaguing many of America’s cities today and in particular the City of Chico.
I say “so-called homeless” because I’m talking about the people who live on the streets by choice. They often do illegal things and sometimes when they do (rarely) they get confronted by the local police who generally issue them a ticket aka notice to appear. In cases of petty theft they take them immediately into custody for arraignment the next day.
So, the homeless, guy or gal, appears in court on the appointed day and the judge says, “How do you plead, guilty or not guilty” and homeless person replies, “Guilty your honor!” The judge then says, “$30 or 3 days in jail, your choice.” Homeless person says, “Well, I don’t have no money.” And at that point the baliff would normally take them into custody for booking at the county jail where they would serve out the sentence. But, not anymore my friends! Noooooo, those days are over!
The ACLU has challenged the pay fine or go to jail part and said that forcing an impoverished people to pay a fine or face jail is unconstitutional because it amounts to a debtors prison! The Colorado appellate court agreed and now anyone (with a poverty defense) who was jailed is elgible for a cash settlement of up to $150 for every day spent in custody.
Local Cyrstal Springs panhandler, Sparky Johnson, is soon to recieve over $11,000 for his various criminal escapades that ran afoul of the law and multiple incarcerations, some of which he admits were premeditated in order to get “three hots and a cot.” Now he’s a wealthy man by bum standards, thanks to your tax dollars. And soon a whole lot of bums will be cashing in on this windfall.
What will Sparky do with the $11,000 grand? “Thats none of your da– business,” says Sparky with a big toothless grin. Is Chico a target for such extortion, you may wonder? Oh, you know it is, get ready to pay-up bunky.
Note: One name was changed out of fear of being sued for something and forced to pay a homeless person for god knows what.
I wonder if Chris will try to float his ignorant and idiotic “a misdemeanor is not a crime” bull**** again on this one.
Welcome to the world of the left, Jack. Ain’t it a dream?
If it’s a dream it’s a nightmare. I can’t believe the stupidity of it all. Bums do not have a right to sleep on a sidewalk, it’s harmful to the good of the community and it’s dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists. Bums do not have the right to invade my personal space and my privacy by asking or demanding money from me. I have a right not to be disturbed by their foul language, obnoxious, rude, inflamatory and or indecent conduct. Same goes for their foul odors or filth constituting a public nuisance or health hazzard. That’s just common sense. Yet, the Courts have said, why sure they have a right to do that, and that low conduct matters more than your rights.
Who runs this country us or the activist liberal judges?
Right after the creation of the Constitution when the founders were still alive, none of this nonsense from bums would have been tolderated. yet today some liberal nerd says, thats what they really meant so its okay… NO its not okay. And if this stupidity continues we’re going to have a very sick society with few rules and a whole lot of unproductive people demanding expensive care from a broke public.
So, Jack, you’re saying that you have the right to be protected from certain types of speech–which is not a right specified in the constitution–and you’re blaming activist liberal judges for not inventing this right for you?
Do you see the problem with that logic?
Dear Mr. Logic (aka Mr. Specious and Fallacious ), this goes much further than a “free speech” issue and has everything to do with maintaining a civil society, a concept that you are obviously incapable of formulating.
Chris, please post your home address, I would like to send some folks over to your neighborhood to defecate, pan handle, and engage in foul language, obnoxious, rude, inflammatory and or indecent conduct. Especially if you or your neighbors have children
You can then explain your concepts of “free speech” to the folks who have to suffer having living near you then.
Pie: “and engage in foul language, obnoxious, rude, inflammatory and or indecent conduct”
Why send a homeless person to do your job for you?
Chris asks, “Why send a homeless person to do your job for you?”
The answer is quite simple, they and you could use the work. Stand up or drop dead, Chris.
I understand Chris, you are a “principled” and morally superior (read unprincipled, immoral) coward who does not put his money where his big fat mouth is. Are you afraid of the “free speech” you advocate visiting your neighborhood?
The following are some examples of what Jack is talking about, and what Chris champions as “free speech.” Again I ask, would you want this “English major “left-wing demagogue teaching YOUR CHILDREN?
WARNING, THE FOLLOWING ARE LINKS TO THE SORT OF UGLY, OBSCENE, VILE “FREE SPEECH” THAT CHRIS (MR. LOGIC) CHAMPIONS AND JACK OBJECTS TO. IT IS ABSOLUTELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR MINORS —
Public scrotal inflation, Anarchist Bookfair, San Francisco
Public masturbation and more — Up Your Alley Fair, San Francisco
Occupy Wall Street — Man defecates on police car
I would like to encourage all free thinking homeless bums to converge on Chris’ neighborhood, to excrete, to pan handle, to harass, to stab, to sleep in thier yards and porches. But the coward Chris is unwilling to publish his address. Evidently he has a limit on “free speech” when it comes too close for comfort.
Never a look into why homeless population is growing.
How many are vets?
Where are those good payin jobs?
Retired people living off the old system have not a clue.
Dewey you ask, how many are vets? I’m not sure maybe 45-50,000 across America. Do you know? However, it’s a safe bet that it’s probably far less than whatever you think.
What’s this got to do with sentencing somebody to jail for a misdemeanor?
Jack if the following is a direct quote from the court ruling, the judge is nuts!
The person was not thrown in jail for being in debt. He was not even thrown in jail for being poor. He was thrown in jail for misdemeanor infractions applicable to all citizens. Examples from your article: Illegal camping, panhandling, defrauding an innkeeper, filth constituting a public nuisance or health hazard.
We’re in serious trouble when a judge cannot think clearly. A person without money pays his DEBT TO SOCIETY by serving time…preferably on a clean up crew.
There was a time in this country when our citizens EXPECTED EACH OTHER to pull their own weight by becoming productive contributing citizens. A standard that made for few exceptions and much cleaner, safer streets.
the judge is nuts! ………….. wow that’s a understatement
As long as freebies are provided to the bums, they will continue to be bums. And those bums are subject to the same laws that the rest of us must follow.
And I notice that those crying for more $pending on the homeless aren’t volunteering to take any of those folks into their own homes . . . . . .
Jack, you want them incarcerated? Write your Congressman; run for office; but you gotta quit whining. It’s a bore.
You also, probably, have to accept that yours is a minority opinion.
My advice: move to Montana, and then never go into town. Because thanks to forty years of conservative government fiscal policy, there is bums in Montana too!
Tina, debtors prison is a barbarism. You may be a barbarian, but the rest of us are holding out for some civilization.
And if you are really interested, read up on the origins of that failed bit of British social engineering. It’s original intent was to save the emerging middle class of tradesmen from bankruptcy fomented by rich people who simply refused to pay their bills. Nothing changes.
Libby: “…thanks to forty years of conservative government fiscal policy, there is bums in Montana too!”
Montana Democrat Governors:
2013 Stephen Bullock Democrat
2004 Bryan Schweitzer Democrat
1981 Ted Schwinden Democrat
1973 Thomas Judge Democrat
It’s been a mixed bag.
“…debtors prison is a barbarism. You may be a barbarian, but the rest of us are holding out for some civilization.”
Which is why we don’t do debtors prison. This judge is playing games with the language, trying out a new PC play to see if we buy into it.
These laws call for monetary recompense and/or time in jail. It doesn’t discriminate. Being homeless does not excuse rude, foul, indecent, lascivious public behavior. Allowing it, in discriminatory fashion, without consequence IS an indication that we would prefer to return to less than civil times. Get a grip girl!
Tina, the chronic under-funding of the VA is a federal matter. Don’t change (obfuscate) the issue.
And, as long as he’s not waving his weenie at you, it is free speech.
So, you can lump it, you can (if you have the means) insulate yourself (what you need is the mall INSIDE your gated community), or you can fund the man’s rehabilitation.
Libby I responded to your last comment which had nothing in it about VA funding…what “obfuscation” are you talking about?
Once again, I do not live in a “gated community” (Even if I did so what? Our president lives in one as do many of the stinkin’ rich who donate to your buddies in politics).
And, as you know very well, I am in favor of a strong military, including the best treatment for our veterans, as the Constitution requires. I have expressed my preference for veterans to be able to access medical care locally just as those with medicare and Medical/Medicaid do and reforms to healthcare insurance that would better serve us all. (Unlike the Obamacare fiasco)
I also have “funded” what is available, crappy as it is. Does t EVER occur to you that the money is badly managed and the bureaucracy too fat? Just throwing more money at the problem has not resulted in positive results. Why not try to look at this problem in a more expanded and inclusive manner instead of just flippin’ an attitude my way?
What’s the tactic now? Pretending you don’t understand so you don’t have to make a substantive response?
Your professions of support are not matched by Congressional action, lo, these fifty years. Benefits have been repeatedly cut. The agency is savagely underfunded, most recently by the Great Sequester. Do you really think that you, or Pie, can say it otherwise and make it so?
There are reasons for all those folk sprawled across the sidewalk. Some of them are veterans rendered unemployable by your support for several pointless wars. You callousness in the face of this is really annoying. Check this out:
Brideshead Revisited, Chapter 1, Paragraph 5
Scene: WWII, England, makeshift training camp in the country prior to eventual embarkation.
Over the way, the subject of much ironical comment, half hidden even in winter by it’s emblossoming trees, lay the municipal lunatic asylum, whose cast-iron railings and noble gates put our rough wire to shame. We could watch the madmen, on clement days, sauntering and skipping among the trim gravel walks and pleasantly planted lawns; happy collaborationists who had given up the unequal struggle, all doubts resolved, all duty done, the undisputed heirs-at-law of a century of progress, enjoying the heritage at their ease. As we marched past the men used to shout greetings to them through the railings — “Keep a bed warm for me chum. I shan’t be long” — but Hooper, my newest-joined platoon commander grudged them their life of privilege: “Hitler would put them in a gas chamber,” he said. “I reckon we could learn a thing or two from him.”