When criminal laws and justice are pushed to aside because of insufficient funds, should we start questioning the laws or those who enforce them? Multnomah County’s DA has decided that those who commit “small crimes” (such as possession of meth or heroin, hit-and-run accidents, and shoplifting) are better off with receiving a fine instead of being arrested. The Oregonian reports:
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After years of budget cuts, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk says he’s had no choice but to stop prosecuting dozens of illegal acts as crimes.
Among them, most addicts caught with small amounts of drugs such as heroin, cocaine or meth; first- or second-time shoplifters caught stealing anything worth less than $250; suspects who resist arrest, or who run away from police officers; drivers who hit and run, as long as they have insurance when they are caught.
Multnomah County is treating those offenses as violations — similar to being cited with a speeding ticket.