SEATTLE (AP) - A study commissioned by criminal defense
attorneys says treating petty, nonviolent misdemeanors as
infractions rather than crimes would save millions of dollars and
better protect defendant's rights without hurting public safety.
That's the top recommendation in a report from the National
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. It gathered data from 7
The head of the group says misdemeanor court is a "black hole"
for justice and resources.
And the report's chief researcher says states waste millions of
dollars prosecuting people for such offenses as feeding the
homeless in parks, jumping turnstiles at subway stations or
sleeping in cardboard boxes.
The findings will be presented to the House Judiciary Committee
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)