UPDATED 12:40 PM PT – Sunday, December 13, 2020
The Seattle City Council is weighing a new criminal code regulation that would excuse many misdemeanors.
Under the proposal, council members considered excusing misdemeanor crimes, including assault, if the crime is linked to poverty, addiction or a mental disorder. The proposal excluded those related to domestic violence and impaired driving.
Members have claimed, “the current system isn’t working for both offenders and victims.”
“In a situation where you took that sandwich because you were hungry and you were trying to meet your basic need of satisfying your hunger; we as the community will know that we should not punish that,” King County Director of Public Defense Anita Khandelwal said. “That conduct is excused.”
Meanwhile, many law enforcement officers have quit at high rates, noting the profession has lost much of its respect. The council said it will continue to work on the proposal in 2021.