7.18.2005

I'll Fix This Once I Figure Out How

Ranger pitcher Kenny Rogers turned himself in this morning to the Tarrant County Jail on the charge of Assault, a Class A misdemeanor. The offense carries with it a $4,000 fine. The guy makes millions a year and the most he can be hit with is four grand. This got me thinking: In our criminal system, it is so odd that a defendant's ability to pay is never considered. For example, most folks who plead guilty in Wise County to DWI-First Offense receive a $750 fine (in addition to probation). It doesn't matter if they make $10,000 a year or $100,0000. Likewise, a person is "punished" for speeding 10 miles over the speed limit in the same fine amount regardless of income. Then again, it should come as no surprise. If you are arrested and can't afford bond, you simply stay incarcerated in jail before ever being found guilty. Are the rich given a privilege or are the poor discriminated against?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When was the criminal justice system about justice? Our Governor has turned municipal prosecution into a money making scam for the state of Texas. Not only does the majority of the fine go to the State, if a person cannot pay the outrageous fine within 30 days the State requires the prosecutor to collect a $25.00 late fee that goes to the State .... no surprise there