Alexander Hardie: Being punished for being poor

April 22, 2014 

Cruel and unusual punishment in this country – how do we define this? Is it cruel to put people in prison because they don’t have the money to pay for a decent lawyer, instead of a public defender who basically couldn’t care less if someone goes to prison for life?

Money talks in the U.S.A. I love my country, but I am ashamed at what we have become. We are a nation driven by greed and image, without a care for those who don’t drive a Hummer or have Armani suits to wear. It amazes me that how we look defines our worth. I cannot count the number of times I have been followed by the police just for the fact that my car isn’t brand new and I don’t have the right look. I’m white, but I can tell you what it’s like to be profiled for the simple fact that I’m poor. I have not had a driver’s license for three years.

Why? I paid the traffic fines, $900 worth. But because I missed a payment another $1,200 has been tacked on. If this isn’t cruel or unusual, I don’t know what is.



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