H.B. No. 121 was introduced this week by Rep. Allen Fletcher (R) who states it will serve as “an alternative means of payment of certain criminal fines and court costs.”
Fletcher also serves as vice chairman of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and sits on the Transportation Committee as well.
This horrible bill is nothing but a killer of due process and increase in the police state. The communists taking over our country want to get rid of juries and give as much power to law enforcement as they possibly can.
“Under the procedure, a peace officer making an arrest of a defendant (1) shall inform the defendant of: (A) the possibility of making an immediate payment of the fine and related court costs by use of a credit or debit card; and (B) the defendant’s available alternatives to making an immediate payment,” the bill, still in its initial phase, states.
The House bill goes on to explain that “a peace officer making an arrest of a defendant: (2) may accept, on behalf of the court, the defendant’s immediate payment of the fine and related court costs by use of a credit or debit card, after which the peace officer must release the defendant.”
Backers of the bill may attempt to argue it merely provides an additional method for the courts to expedite the collection of outstanding payments, and may say it will free up jail space to be able to hold more criminal offenders, or free up court dockets to deal with more important cases.
However, should the bill pass, it would deal a devastating blow to the citizenry’s right to due process, which among other things mandates an appearance and assessment before a magistrate prior to a case proceeding to trial, and would set the legal precedent wherein everyday police officers would be empowered to take on the roles of judge, jury and executioner – and charge “related court costs.”
Not explicitly stated is the fact that, under the bill, traffic cops would be required to carry around credit card swiping machines, in addition to citizens’ private credit or debit card information, which could open the doors to a litany of personal security risks and liabilities.