Seattle lawmakers are considering legislation that exempts suspects from most misdemeanors if they may be associated with poverty or mental illness.
If approved, Emerald City will be the first in the country to take such steps in books.
The Seattle City Council said the proposal, which was created with the opinion of a local public defender, would exempt suspects from minor crimes such as theft, breach, and assault, but in the case of domestic violence and drunk driving. That’s not the case, KUOW-TV reported.
“As a community, we know that we shouldn’t punish it when we’re trying to meet the basic needs of taking sandwiches for hunger and satisfying hunger,” said King County Public Defender Anita.・ Kandelwar told the station. “The act is allowed.”
According to Fox-affiliated WSFX-TV, this move is intensifying in Seattle this year as crimes surged, including protests in the occupied Capitol Hill area.
At the same time, the city’s homeless population has increased by 5% from last year, the network said.
However, not everyone in the northwestern cities are participating in the proposed legislative changes.
“It sends this strong signal that, as the city government, we don’t really care about this kind of criminal activity in our city,” former city council member Tim Burgess told KUOW.
Burgess called the proposal a “defendant lawyer’s dream.”
Seattle attaches great importance to “poverty defense” of misdemeanor
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