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When It's A Crime To Be Poor

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    When It's A Crime To Be Poor

    In the relatively chummy atmosphere of the hall, as the "guilty" waited to be marched single-file prison-style to the cashier, a few people approached me and said, "You always have to plead guilty. Otherwise, they send you to trial, and then they charge you a lot more, even though it's the same crime. It doesn't matter whether you did it or not, you just say you did it. That's how it works."

    When it's a crime to be poor | SocialistWorker.org

    #2
    I often wonder if these types of scenarios are by design or just an unfortunate result of how the system has been set up.
    Brian

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      #3
      I'm not clear how what was described is targeting the poor? Are the police only writing tickets on poor people? Or is it that the poor can't afford a proper defense?
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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        #4
        I Guess running red lights, peeing in the street, and drinking alcohol anywhere at anytime are OK things to do. I'd guess there was more involved. If you don't want the hassle of a big city court then pay attention to the laws in the place you're at. Saves you money and time. I'm sure Socialistworker.org would just have the rest of us pick up the tab for those individuals who were obviously harassed and had done nothing wrong. Cops don't have quotas and would just assume not deal with this crap.
        "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
          I'm not clear how what was described is targeting the poor? Are the police only writing tickets on poor people? Or is it that the poor can't afford a proper defense?
          I think that the author is trying to make the claim that the poor are being ticketed for pety offenses and then being rammed through the system as quickly as possible by indimidating them into pleading guilty whether they did the crime or not. In this manor, fines can be be dished out quickly and the money collected immediately.

          I suppose that one doesn't need to be poor to have this happen to them, but I think that the author is claiming that the Police are writing these tickets in poorer areas and are indimidating poorer people.
          Brian

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            #6
            Originally posted by bjl584 View Post
            I think that the author is trying to make the claim that the poor are being ticketed for pety offenses and then being rammed through the system as quickly as possible by indimidating them into pleading guilty whether they did the crime or not. In this manor, fines can be be dished out quickly and the money collected immediately.

            I suppose that one doesn't need to be poor to have this happen to them, but I think that the author is claiming that the Police are writing these tickets in poorer areas and are indimidating poorer people.
            The cops are in these areas because people in affluent areas aren't dealing drugs, peeing on the street, robbing buisnesses or otherwise committing "petty" crimes. If you're assigned to work the area because of the high crime rate then you address the problems at hand. Not to say that crime isn't occuring in upper east manhattan but it's not where the majority of it is. As someone who has loaded urine soaked drunks into the back of a squad car, I can tell you it's not something to look forward to. Perhaps that author should rent an apartment in one of the areas these people are from. Bet she'd love the police presence there.
            "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.

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              #7
              I wanna believe it is just happen stance, but the conspericy theroist in me thinks it might all be coincedence

              Comment


                #8
                Mr

                Originally posted by GREENBACK View Post
                I Guess running red lights, peeing in the street, and drinking alcohol anywhere at anytime are OK things to do. I'd guess there was more involved. If you don't want the hassle of a big city court then pay attention to the laws in the place you're at. Saves you money and time. I'm sure Socialistworker.org would just have the rest of us pick up the tab for those individuals who were obviously harassed and had done nothing wrong. Cops don't have quotas and would just assume not deal with this crap.
                Quotas? No they are called targets, expectations, goals, perforamance, or whatever. How else is performance measured at promotion and evalutation time?

                When you become poor you become powerless, a second class citizen, and an object of contempt. Police are not immune to these attitudes, in fact the interaction with the poor probably exacerbates this feeling. I see it in your post. I understand your fellings of frustration as you are not making a difference. The woman is describing the situation without this prejudice filter about poor people, and finds the whole exercise "Kafkaesque" which it is, bizarre. The poor people know the song and dance, and so do the police, and the court system.

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