We already have plenty of examples of district attorneys not doing their jobs, but Dallas County District Attorney John Ceruzot, who was elected last November, has announced a number of reforms on his watch.
His office won’t prosecute any drug possession cases involving less than .01 grams of a drug; he also said in a letter that he’ll dismiss many criminal trespass cases as well, seeing as they’re most often perpetrated by the homeless and mentally ill.
And if you swipe $749 worth of Pampers from Wal-Mart, it’s all good.
— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) April 12, 2019
Yes, among those low-level crimes are theft cases involving personal items worth less than $750, unless evidence shows it was for economic gain. So as long as you’re not reselling what you steal, just make sure you swipe less than $750 of personal items and you’re free to go.
Seriously, this is his reasoning:
Study after study shows that when we arrest, jail, and convict people for non-violent crimes committed out of necessity, we only prevent that person from gaining the stability necessary to lead a law-abiding life. Criminalizing poverty is counter-productive for our community’s health and safety. For that reason, this office will not prosecute theft of personal items less than $750 unless the evidence shows that the alleged theft was for economic gain.
Andrew Arterburn, the owner of One Stop Express in Uptown said a shoplifter just stole $120 worth of laundry detergent on Thursday and he’s not happy to find out cases like this could be dismissed.
“It’s a slap on the wrist. They go to jail, get a meal, get let go. And they’re not going to be prosecuted at all for it,” said Arterburn.
The President of the National Black Police Association, Sgt. Sheldon Smith, said he worries it will lead to more crime.
“It opens the door for some people to think they can commit crimes,” Sgt. Smith said.
So Dallas County will continue to do what they've basically been doing for years? ? Cool story, bro
— Royals2015Chiefs? (@RoyalfaninTexas) April 12, 2019
This is a miscarriage of justice. You have just communicated to criminals: Be sure your thefts are less than $750.00 and you get a pass. You also told drug users how little is safe from prosecution. Shame on you! You took an oath of office, which you are violating IMHO.
— R J Kelley K5RJK (@RJKelley1) April 12, 2019
So, all I need to vacation in Dallas is my hotel room, or is skipping out on the bill there also accepted? Shelter is a personal need and the corner room at the Omni is $500/night. Restaurants? Also, gas is necessary. I'll be filling up before I leave.
— Juliekins (@loopielupie) April 19, 2019
What a joke ! Dallas needs some leaders with some sense …. they can’t even handle the bike share program and now they want to breed criminals ! I stand with the police we don’t want thugs stealing and robbing people ?
— LA (@DJLATX) April 19, 2019
Why do we need this guy in office if he is going to give criminals a pass?! Giving criminals a pass leads to bigger crimes!!! If you cant understand that then you don’t deserve your position!!!
— Uncle Vic!!! (@UncleVic13) April 15, 2019
Let store owners give him the bills for the stolen merchandise. He can reimburse them. Not the town, not his office, him, personally.
— Susan Lane (@SusanRLane) April 19, 2019
Democrats are insane.
— Conservadawg (@davidingram68) April 17, 2019
Presidential candidate Julián Castro calls for US to decriminalize border crossing https://t.co/ffMHNfbVcr
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) April 3, 2019