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The folks in charge are overlooking obvious answer to jail overcrowding and legal backlog: Quit arresting so many people!
Go back to doing government's fundamental job of protecting us from real criminals – people who steal our cars, break into our homes, defraud us, or are violent – not just our immoral neighbors who offend us with their petty needs and vices.
And quit herding people who aren't real criminals through our criminal justice system – which is for real criminals. Then, these people who have not harmed others can keep their jobs, support their families, contribute to economy and pay taxes instead of forcing taxpayers to pay for their unneeded food, lodging and supervision in jail.
This will leave space to segregate violent and dishonest people who can't live socially with rest of us. Isn't that point of our criminal justice system?
If Indianapolis is true to national statistics, we spend nearly half of our criminal-justice resources fighting vice instead of crime. The distinction between vice and crimes is fundamental. As legal scholar Sir William Blackstone wrote, 'In all cases, crime includes an injury."
The Indiana Constitution grants jurisdiction to Indiana courts based on such harm or injury. 'All courts shall be open, and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law." (Article 1, Section 12)
This does not grant courts authority to punish those who merely offend us. Article 1, Section 37 of Constitution prohibits government from depriving people of liberty "otherwise than for punishment of crimes." (See also Article 1, Section 13 and 19.) If Brizzi, Bradford and Young enforced this simple covenant, jail overcrowding would likely vanish overnight.
Every time we waste our resources policing, prosecuting and imprisoning potheads and prostitutes, then car thieves, burglars or murderers go free. Plus, we lie about being true to constitution.
Why is this so hard to understand or discuss? Why are elders of our herd overlooking this practical, moral and constitutional consideration that is so utterly obvious?
Attorney, screen writer and former chair of the Libertarian Party of Marion County.