Being homeless is not a crime
I write in response to Mr. Martinez’s letter (Sept. 21) in which he advises that we “change the law and make homelessness a crime.” Such a change would, of course, be illegal, but more than that it would be against common sense. Perhaps we should imprison people for the “crime” of having a common cold? Or better yet for being 6 feet tall? Or maybe, if we are to take Mr. Martinez’s logic to its ultimate conclusion, for being a certain race or gender?
The truth is, it is unconstitutional — cruel and unusual punishment — to criminalize a person’s “status.” Being homeless is a state of being, the same as having a disease or a certain physical characteristic. Whether or not someone chooses to be homeless is beside the point; the government cannot punish someone for being in a certain condition. The purpose of the criminal law is to punish conduct, not status. It would be a scary world if, upon waking up in the morning, one were violating the law simply for existing. Mr. Martinez and I no doubt agree that homelessness is an intractable problem. But solving the problem requires practical, real-world solutions, not unconstitutional dictates.
Jason Crockford, Clovis
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Reads The Bee with critical eye
Thank you Mr. Boyer, my 11th grade civics teacher at McLane High School, for warning me to read The Fresno Bee with caution, and to do my own research, and to make up my own mind, instead of blindly accepting the progressive radical left position of The Fresno Bee. Thank you, Fresno Bee, for who you are. I read your paper with a critical eye, do my research, and make up my own mind, and it usually turns out with a conviction the opposite of what you have published. Again, thank you Mr. Boyer, and thank you Fresno Bee.
Michael Vogt, Fresno
Cartoon raises this reader’s ire
Having just read the 9/22 paper, I’m amazed that as an editor you can write an essay on how fair, transparent and nonpartisan this paper is and yet display that despicable cartoon today on the editorial page. I’m so offended and repulsed as a subscriber and a female You call that fair? No matter what political affiliation one has, that cartoon is disgusting. Obviously because so many have lost the “presumed innocent until proven guilty” concept you again are showing your bias against anything Republican.
P.S. Backhaus, Fresno
Critical to be well informed
In response to Becky Graves’ letter (Sept. 19) about The Fresno Bee publishing overtly biased and negative headlines and articles about any Republican politician: We have to keep in mind, The Bee is only the messenger. It is not The Bee, that for almost two years has been embarrassing and disrespecting our country and constitution. It is the corruption, lies and unstableness of one unhinged Republican, who unfortunetly happens to be the leader of our once great and most respected country in the world.
The only ones that could end this nightmare are the other Republicans who seem to be under a spell of some kind. They scurry around like squirrels, trying not to upset the master. Oh, almost forgot; Devin Nunes, the court jester trying to spread gossip that will benefit the master, and throw off any investigation he might be under.
I will be gifting some of my family and friends a subscription to The Fresno Bee so they can be well informed about the truth, no matter how unbelievable and outlandish it might be. Thank you, Fresno Bee for keeping us well informed.
Mary E. Rodriguez, Fresno