Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees.
If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.
Ask Jack Dawley, 55, an unemployed man in Ohio who between 2007 and 2012 spent a total of 16 days in jail in a Huron County lock-up for failing to pay roughly $1,500 in legal fines he'd incurred in the 1990s. The fines stemmed from Dawley's convictions for driving under the influence and other offenses. After his release from a Wisconsin correctional facility, Dawley, who admits he had struggled with drugs and alcohol, got clean. But if he put his substance problems behind him,...
I think it interesting how the softer crimes are taken by the judicial system. Murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc, always seem to plea bargain their ways down to lesser crimes/sentences. Owe some money to the government, or their buddies, and you would think a mass murder has been committed. Leniency is reserved for the real criminals, and the more dangerous, the better. Don't misunderstand, wrong is wrong, but the scales of justice are way out of whack. Kent Hovid, Dr Dino, is midway in serving his 10yr sentence for not paying Into workmans comp because as a ministry, he didn't think he had to. Now, whether he's being honest or not, 10yrs hard time for a preacher who has never posed any kind of danger to society? Murderers and rapists serve less time. He was found to owe 8.45M for employee insurances he wasn't paying into, but 10yrs hard time for that when other seriously dangerous criminals are allowed to walk after only a few years in many cases?