For four days, city parking officers slapped tickets on an SUV parked three blocks from the Broward County Courthouse. When Carolyn White noticed the pile of citations, she wondered what was going on. She stepped closer to the car to peek inside.
That's when she found the body. The medical examiner was unable to determine the date of death, which seems unsurprising after at least four days in a closed vehicle in 80-degree weather.
Fort Lauderdale officials declined to comment on the situation. An email from the assistant clerk said the city dismissed the $160 in parking fees, "due to extenuating circumstances."
So at least there's that; he got a free pass. That's some mighty fine police work there, Lou.
Out here on the left coast, judges in San Francisco have been discarding arrest warrants by the thousands in recent years, and Judge I.P. Freely joined his colleagues in providing an explanation:
San Francisco’s Presiding Judge John Stewart explained to the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, why he and his colleagues discarded 66,000 arrest warrants issued over five years for so-called quality-of-life crimes.
The crimes, which also include urinating on sidewalks and being drunk in public, are infractions punishable only by fines. But when those who were cited failed to show up in court, judges in the past have issued bench warrants ordering them to appear, with a sentence of five days in jail for failing to show up.
The judges decided that there's no point to locking these people up for not paying their fines, so they tossed the warrants. That seems like a noble and well-intentioned gesture, but they're basically telling people that they can pee anywhere, any time. Down the road, there could be a few public health issues resulting from that sort of thing. The judges acknowledge that neighbors will be upset, but maintain that it's the right thing to do. Police are not happy, noting that the judges are telling people that there are no consequences for their actions.