The Seattle City Council is considering a law that would excuse misdemeanor crimes if the offense can be linked to poverty, mental health, and addiction, KUOW-TV reported.
The proposal would allow judges and juries the option to dismiss misdemeanor crimes that were committed because of poverty or while a person was experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or substance abuse disorder.
The proposed legislation would exclude misdemeanors related to domestic violence and impaired driving.
If passed, it would make Seattle the first city in the nation to excuse misdemeanor offenses linked to poverty, addiction and mental illness.
“In a situation where you took that sandwich because you were hungry and you were trying to meet your basic need of satisfying your hunger, we as a community will know that we should not punish that. That conduct is excused,” Anita Khandelwal, King County director of public defense, told KUOW-TV.
Former Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess opposes the proposal and called it a “defense lawyer’s dream,” KOUW reported.
“It sends this powerful signal that as a city government, we don’t really care about this type of criminal behavior in our city,” Burgess said.
The Seattle Police Department said they will continue to hold those accountable who commit crimes and that the proposed legislation “seems intent on eliminating any accountability or deterrent to engaging in these behaviors and would endanger the safety and rights of all people of Seattle.”
In a statement to Seattle Times, the police department said “officers will continue to focus on holding individuals accountable who commit one of the thousands of assaults or thefts that occur in our community each year.”
This proposed legislation comes as crime rates in Seattle rise. Protests have been ongoing in the city, including the Capitol Hill Occupied Zone protests, which was an occupation protest and self-declared autonomous zone in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle that lasted 150 days.
Cities and states across the nation are reevaluating police policies as protests and demonstrators demand for change.
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Trump, Rep Biggs: invoking the Alien Enemies Act to enable widespread deportation will ‘be necessary’
At a recent rally in Iowa, former President Donald Trump promised that if elected again in 2024, he would invoke the Alien Enemies Act to enable widespread deportation of migrants who have illegally entered the United States. Since President Joe Biden took office in January of 2021, over 6 million people have illegally entered the country.
Republican Representative Andy Biggs from border state Arizona, which is among the states suffering the greatest consequences from the Biden administration policies, lamented that Trump’s suggestion will be “necessary.”
Speaking on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show, Biggs stated “[I]t’s actually gonna have to be necessary.” Biggs then added his thoughts on how many more people will continue to cross the border under Biden: “Because by the time Trump gets back in office, you will have had over 10 million, in my opinion, over 10 million illegal aliens cross our border and come into the country, under the Biden regime.”
“And so when you start deporting people, and removing them from this country, what that does is that disincentivizes the tens of thousands of people who are coming,” Biggs went on. “And by the way, everyday down in Darién Gap, which is in Panama… over 5,000 people a day. [I] talk[ed] to one of my sources from the gap today. And I will just tell you, those people that you’ve seen come come in to Eagle Pass, over 7,000 in a three day period, most of those two weeks ago, were down crossing into the Darién Gap.”
“And those people… make their way up and they end up in the Eagle Pass [Texas], Del Rio area,” he continued. “So if you want to disincentivize them, you remove them from the country, which is why they remain in Mexico policy was so doggone effective at slowing down illegal border crossings.”
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