Massachusetts’ legal system is in trouble. The saying, “Where there’s smoke, there’s possibly fire,” seems to ring true, at least regarding drivers being pulled over for some driving infringement and the driver currently has his or her license suspended.
A few months ago I started reading the Bourne Police Reports in The Bourne Enterprise and to my amazement the reports over the last 10 weeks had 15 where the drivers previously had their license revoked out of 69 total reports, or 21 percent. Essentially one out of five drivers being pulled over for some driving issue had no license.
So, at least in my mind, drivers who have been suspended ignore our laws, since it appears that our existing laws do not have severe enough penalties to discourage them from driving, or our judicial system chooses to give out too light a penalty, and so why not continue driving? I’m definitely beginning to believe the latter is the case.
I had a sheriff from this state tell me a few years back that his officers had arrested a man who had just committed his 12th private home break-in and, when he got to court, that the judge sentenced him to time in prison. The surprised man looked at the judge and said, “You actually mean I’m going to jail?”
But it took the 12th time for prison time to be invoked, and he continued his crimes because hardly any punishment had been handed out.
Then I started reading the From Falmouth District Court reports and that also opened my eyes on how lenient our prosecuting attorneys are, at least in my mind, when you read some of the depositions.
Take the report from last Friday’s edition and read a few of those depositions. There was one where the person was facing their second driving under suspension and the person was fined only $100 for the court costs; and (now get this), the second driving without a license and the car had no insurance and the speeding ticket were ALL dismissed, upon request of the commonwealth! So that definitely tells me our prosecuting attorneys are not doing their job and/or their bosses are telling them to be very lax in prosecuting them.
Unfortunately, the example above is more common than you would think. Even forgetting over-the-road infringements. Take shoplifting; They had two shoplifters in the report mentioned above where one was given four hours of community service and the other just had to pay court costs of $100. I bet the shoplifter was trying to steal more than $100.
So take a few minutes and read those two reports, Bourne Police Logs, and From Falmouth District Court, and let’s see how many people were caught driving with a suspended license and the amount of dispositions that have some illegal actions that were “dismissed upon request of the commonwealth.” And now expand this knowledge and data to all of Massachusetts—wow!
Daryl K. Smith