Letter to the Editor: Has anyone tried to invent an upward spiral?

Editor:
I frequently start off with good intentions and never quite get around to writing to you, my favorite editor.  This time I am not even stopping to read the rest of the paper before reaching for my mouse.
First, a note for our current congressman whose full color, full page ad arrived coincidentally with today’s The Northern Virginia Daily — instead of telling us all the wonderful things you will do for us, like repealing Obamacare,  how about spending time and money to help the desperately poor but hard-working, bottom-of-the-heap folks described herein?
Yes, I am that ticked off!
Larry O’Dell’s story on the front page of Wednesday’s paper, “Court costs can cripple low-income drivers,” accurately describes how a simple transgression, perhaps just a couple miles over the speed limit, (possibly caused by an old, inaccurate speedometer), evokes an unpayable fee, and eventually jail time.  According to The Legal Aid Justice Center, some 900,000 Virginians are at some point in this endless downward spiral.
Has it never occurred to the judge to ask why the obviously disadvantaged person is standing there and why small, simple fees for small, simple transgressions have been allowed to aggregate to this degree?  Surely a more suitable punishment can be devised.
Do not bother to tell me about the organizations that are supposed to help.  Obviously that is not working, and do not bother to tell me about our broken criminal justice system.  Has anyone tried to invent an upward spiral?
Gloria Rickel, Front Royal

 

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