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As economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive
CBS News' Money Watch ^ | April 4, 2013 | Alain Sherter

Posted on 04/04/2013 6:47:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

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, Dawley's couldn't outrun his debts.

Struggling to find a job and dealing with the effects of a back injury, he fell behind on repayments to the municipal court in Norwalk, Ohio. He was arrested six years ago and sent to jail for not paying his original court fines. Although Dawley was put on a monthly payment plan, during his latest stint behind bars in 2012 the court ordered him to pay off his entire remaining debt.

" I called my brother, and they told him I have to pay off the whole fine in order for me to get out," he said. "That was $900. So I sat my whole 10 days [in jail.]"

Such stories are by no means unusual. Rather, they reflect a justice system that in effect criminalizes poverty....

(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: debt; debtorsprison; debts; economy; handsanitizer; obamaville; ohio; personaldebt; povertycrime
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Which is why Legal Shield and its competitors were formed.
1 posted on 04/04/2013 6:47:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
If someone lends you money... and you refuse to pay it back... that is theft! and you deserve to go to prison.
2 posted on 04/04/2013 6:57:26 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Don’t forget child support if you are a man.
Women seldom serve a day when they don’t pay.


3 posted on 04/04/2013 7:01:15 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: TexasFreeper2009
If someone lends you money... and you refuse to pay it back... that is theft! and you deserve to go to prison.

If someone lends you money, it is only a civil matter, not criminal. There can be a lein placed on personal and real property, but there are limits for personal exemptions to allow the party to still eat and keep his family together. Incarceration does not solve the insolvency.

This article, if you bothered to read through is about the G'umt putting you in jail for not paying their fines, fees, and re-distributive costs.

There are laws against this, as the article states, but reading isn't your specialty, I guess!

4 posted on 04/04/2013 7:03:21 PM PDT by WVKayaker ("...once a bell is rung by a biased media, it’s impossible to un-ring it."-Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

lien, not leon...


5 posted on 04/04/2013 7:03:52 PM PDT by WVKayaker ("...once a bell is rung by a biased media, it’s impossible to un-ring it."-Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
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To: WVKayaker

It’s not about refusal to pay either.


6 posted on 04/04/2013 7:07:34 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

More flouting of the law by the courts. That’s anarchy. It will not end well at all.


7 posted on 04/04/2013 7:08:05 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: WVKayaker
I did read the article.

I just personally feel that refusing to pay back a loan is left and should be treated as such.

If I lend someone $1,000 bucks and they refuse to pay it back, to me that's no different than if they broke into my home and stole $1,000 worth of property. And regardless of what the article says or what the law is, I think it should be treated as theft!

And I don't care one wit about whether they can't pay the debt back if they are in prison! that's not the point, the point is punishment. No one ever says burglars shouldn't be put in prison because they can't then pay back the money stolen.

8 posted on 04/04/2013 7:09:39 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: Venturer

I know a woman who has been jailed several times for failing to pay her child support. It does happen.


9 posted on 04/04/2013 7:14:35 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Venturer

I know a woman who has been jailed several times for failing to pay her child support. It does happen.


10 posted on 04/04/2013 7:14:35 PM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Rather, they reflect a justice system that in effect criminalizes poverty.

No, it's a legal system that criminalizes crime. He found plenty of money to buy alcohol, but couldn't find any to pay for his crime.

11 posted on 04/04/2013 7:15:41 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: TexasFreeper2009

Brainiac ,

My brother-in-law was pulled over in a traffic stop 6 months ago ,, equipment violation ,, he was working as a lab courier ,, he had just applied hand sanitizer (alcohol based) before the stop (he handles lots of NASTY stuff) ,, the cop smelled the alcohol , did a field sobriety test (passed) , handcuffed him , wrote a ticket for DUI ANYWAY!! , my brother-in-law asked to call his employer otherwise HUNDREDS of patients would be inconvenienced while their blood samples rotted in a locked car ... COP made the call for him ,, told employer that HE WAS DRUNK OR ON DRUGS ,,, he lost his job immediately ,, Cop gave him a choice ,, go to the hospital for a drug/alcohol screen (hospital he just picked up specimens at) by ambulance , handcuffed to bed ,, or go immediately to jail ...

He did nothing wrong , no alcohol , no drugs , just a burned out light bulb , lost his job (had no money anyway) , passed all the tests with perfect 00.00% results , the police refused to pay for the drug tests or the ambulance ride , they dropped the DUI ticket/charge and they refuse to cover the testing or ambulance ...

Should my brother-in-law go to jail? He certainly cannot pay several THOUSAND dollars.


12 posted on 04/04/2013 7:24:10 PM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The article states that poor people shouldn’t be charged fines and fee. I feel for people that are poor but if they only charge fines for people that have money, how is that justice? Some Europeon countries charge traffic fee accordingly to ability to pay. That is not justice, that is socialism.


13 posted on 04/04/2013 7:24:50 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: PAR35

Where did you see that in the article?


14 posted on 04/04/2013 7:26:29 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's presidential run. What'll you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Our criminal system is now geared towards providing revenue for the local government and does nothing to rehabilitate criminals.

It’s all about the money.


15 posted on 04/04/2013 7:27:52 PM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: Neidermeyer

Has he talked to a lawyer? Seems like he might win based on your version of the events.


16 posted on 04/04/2013 7:30:43 PM PDT by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: Neidermeyer

Your brother-in-law needs an attorney...


17 posted on 04/04/2013 7:37:59 PM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

“If I lend someone $1,000 bucks”

Then you’re asking for trouble. Don’t do it.


18 posted on 04/04/2013 7:39:18 PM PDT by ScottfromNJ
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To: Rusty0604

“Some Europeon(sic) countries charge traffic fee accordingly to ability to pay. That is not justice, that is socialism.”

I’m not so sure about this. I don’t have a problem at all with inside stock traders coughing up tens of millions of dollars...and isn’t the point of the fine to punish? How much of a punishment is it to fine someone worth 50 million dollars $100?


19 posted on 04/04/2013 7:41:54 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: ScottfromNJ

“If I lend someone $1,000 bucks

Then you’re asking for trouble. Don’t do it.”

If you lend someone $20, and you never see them again, it was probably worth it.


20 posted on 04/04/2013 7:42:53 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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