Never one to hide our opinion, we "humbly" offer these simple steps to improve the little world we all work in.
5 simple steps to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system:
1) Take most third degree felonies and make them misdemeanors. Grand Theft under $2,500, possession of cocaine under 10 grams, grand theft auto, burglary of a car or structure other than a dwelling or business (ie., a shed, etc.,) littering, felony battery, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, felony DWLS, are all candidates.
2) Take most second degree misdemeanors and make them civil infractions. Disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication, driving without eye-glasses or riding a motor-cycle without an endorsement, driving a van without commercial markings, possession of marijuana, are all candidates.
3) Train traffic magistrates to handle these new civil infractions. Magistrates Like Mr. Peckins, Mr. Haguel, Mr. Cobitz will have no trouble handling these cases.
4) Increase the penalties available to magistrates and misdemeanor judges to handle these new cases. Magistrates should have the ability to fine people up to $2,000.00 and order up to 200 hours of community service. County Court Judges should have the ability to order up to five years probation in addition to jail to handle the reduced felonies.
5) Take a misdemeanor Judge like Judge Hague ( who was an ace prosecutor) and have them handle all other third degree misdemeanor arraignments for all Judges in a special calendar. This can be expanded to include trials, bench and jury for these cases in that division as well. Remove the ability of the prosecutors to demand a jury trial when the defense waives the right to a jury trial for third degree felonies.
These simple steps will ease the burden on the criminal justice system and free up the Circuit Court Judges to handle their more serious cases, and spend more time on matters that remain before them.
Coming next: Rumpole’s 5 secret REGJB diet tips.