Keep minor traffic offenses on crime books, legislators told

Judges, prosecutors warn of severe consequences of decriminalization

, Daily Report


Prosecutors and judges told legislators last week that minor traffic offenses should remain on the criminal law books despite a recommendation to turn them into mere civil violations as a way to trim court case loads and save government money.

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What's being said

  • Gary Spencer

    One of the elephants in the room is driving while black: many African Americans are stopped under the guise of a bogus (or otherwise minor) traffic infraction. Law enforcement has turned this to an opportunity to search without reasonable suspicion, let alone probable cause. The courts have allowed this to happen, and making these traffic offenses civil would bring back some balance to the rights of citizens to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures on the highways. Everyone complains about the loss of individual liberty but when there's a real chance to restore confidence in the Constitution, no one wants to sign on.

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