Let me understand this: Sherry Appleton, a State of Washington representative, in her quest to reduce the cost of justice (House Bill 2116), wishes to make felonies such as possession of “controlled substances” such as heroin, a much-used drug in Clallam County, a misdemeanor with a maximum $1,000 fine! The logic behind this: litigation is too expensive.
In this article (“Criminal justice: Reining in the cost,” Sequim Gazette, Jan. 22, page A-6), a county commissioner, Sequim’s city attorney and county sheriff all believe they are overburdened with the cost of the criminal justice system. The cost is exorbitant, that’s true.
Three remarks from this story stand out. First: Sequim City Attorney Craig Ritchie said the state and the individual counties may support this bill as “a cost-cutting measure.” This cost cutting measure doesn’t help those whose property has been stolen to support a drug-infested addict or the cost of the a drug-impaired driver killing a family!
The second: “Right now we’re all working with anecdotes, not data.” I’ll give you data … look at the Clallam County Jail roster! Incest, pedophiles, rapists and OMG, druggies … and our elected officials think drugs aren’t a cause of financial hardships to anyone other than their budgets. What other felonies are going to be justified for a budget?
The old adage of “Do the crime, do the time” is no longer a doctrine of society, but replaced by, “It’s not a crime, therefore no time.” Politicians, as usual, have an answer: A Law and Justice Tax. And you wonder why I have a weapon in every room in my home!
The only positive point of the whole article was the admonishment, “For the voters to consider more carefully their choices for the (State) Supreme Court.”
Tolerance is one thing … ignorance is something else.