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Both Liberals And Conservatives Should Be Able To ‘Just Say No’ To Debtors Prisons

Real life isn't like Monopoly where you keep collecting rent on your properties while in jail.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

May 7, 2013 - 11:00 am
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Certainly, this isn’t always a clear cut issue. Is a person REALLY unable to pay or is he just irresponsible? Is he pleading poverty when it comes time to pay off his bills and then going out and spending the money on booze and a new iPhone?

Yet, there’s a reason Lady Justice is portrayed as a blindfolded woman holding a pair of scales. We always have to balance interests; putting someone in jail for being genuinely unable to pay a bill tilts the scales too far in one direction. Given what’s going on in Ohio, we need to take a hard look at those scales to make sure that we’re not going back to the bad old days of debtors prisons.

 

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John Hawkins is a professional writer who runs Right Wing News and Linkiest. He's also the co-owner of the The Looking Spoon. Additionally, he does weekly appearances on the #1 in its market Jaz McKay show, writes a weekly column for Townhall and PJ Media, does YouTube videos, and his work has also been published at the Washington Examiner, The Hill, and at Human Events. He's also the blogosphere's premier interviewer and has interviewed conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Mark Levin, Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Steyn, G. Gordon Liddy, Dick Morris, Karl Rove, Michael Steele, Milton Friedman, Jonah Goldberg, Jim DeMint, Walter Williams, Robert Novak, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, & Michelle Malkin among others. Moreover, John Hawkins' work has been linked and discussed in numerous publications and on TV and radio shows including ABC News, BusinessWeek, C-Span, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Editor & Publisher, Fox News, Hannity and Colmes, The Laura Ingraham Show, Minneapolis Star Tribune, MSNBC, National Journal, National Post, Newsmax, Newsweek, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Tammy Bruce Show, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Hugh Hewitt Show, The Washington Post, Salt Lake Tribune, Scarborough Country, U.S. News & World Report, and Human Events, where he had a weekly column. Right Wing News has been studied by college classes and even inspired an urban legend that was covered at Snopes. Last but not least, John Hawkins also founded and led the Rightroots group, a grassroots effort that collected almost $300,000 for Republican candidates in the last 3 months of the 2006 election cycle. In 2008, he consulted for Duncan Hunter's presidential campaign and was on the board of Slatecard, which raised more than $600,000 for Republican candidates in the 2008 election cycle. In 2011, he helped found Raising Red, although he left the organization the same year and went on to become one of the co-founders of Not Mitt Romney.com.

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All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
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Sentencing people justly fined to a short time in jail in lieu of the fine if they can't pay is both just and merciful. They key point being that the jail sentence is proportionate to the fine and that upon release from jail, the fine is no longer owed. However, no one should be sentenced to jail for a debt that will still be owed upon release.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
what owing the irs? i guess that's jail time for not being patriotic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Prison pays-for the jailers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It was once said that the poor are a goldmine. Here again it is true. While the poor might not be able to pay those fines, think about all the police, court officials, and bureaucrats who the taxpayers keep employed to deal with these debtors. Extrapolate that across the whole of government and wonder why no one is serious about cutting the welfare state.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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