Why does the US still have 'debtors' prisons'?

Does exactly as it says on the tin!!! For all other topics not already covered.

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magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
Joined: April 19th, 2018, 8:25 am

May 16th, 2018, 8:34 am #11

I was just looking at Wiki about the song you mentioned (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Nation_Under_a_Groove) and it seems to be a variant of the Pledge of Allegiance, but in this case Pledging Allegiance to funk music instead. It kind of reminds me of a song from here in the UK called God save the Queen by the Sex Pistols, a punk rock band from the 1970's. There was a lot of controversy about it because it was a variant of our National Anthem, I think it was more to do with rebelling against the Establishment at the time.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Save_ ... tols_song)

 

"God Save the Queen"
(standard version)

God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen!

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!

And in what way do you mean more like Texas and California????
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stonefree
Finding Ma' Way
stonefree
Finding Ma' Way
Joined: March 20th, 2011, 2:13 pm

May 16th, 2018, 8:59 am #12

Both were republics or part of republics that were taken over by the US
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magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
Joined: April 19th, 2018, 8:25 am

May 17th, 2018, 1:46 pm #13

stonefree wrote: Both were republics or part of republics that were taken over by the US
AAHHH I see what you mean.
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RFM
This is Ma' Life!
RFM
This is Ma' Life!
Joined: February 9th, 2006, 3:13 am

June 8th, 2018, 12:59 pm #14

In the interest of clearing up some confusion, America does not have "debtor's prisons". That is an English law, and formerly a Scots law, which has to do with civil debt, a debt between private parties, not the state. Under English law, a person who did not repay a debt could be attached and imprisoned until the debt was paid. Under the US Constitution, no person may be imprisoned for debt. However the author of the thread, magicmuggles, is looking at criminal punishment, that is when a person commits a small offense, speeding, parking, etc. which does not merit imprisonment, a fine may be assessed. It may also be assessed in addition to imprisonment but does not extend the term of imprisonment. So what happens when the criminal defendant can not pay? In many countries, Canada, USA, Germany, France, the criminal defendant is given a choice, pay or do extended time. In most cases they will obtain the money rather than do the extended time. Otherwise they are usually released as the costs of imprisonment are greater than the unpaid fine.
The evolution of America was from colonial beginnings, each colony/state essentially its own little nation with its own laws. That worked well until the nation became larger and it became apparent that federation was the better choice, ie strong central but limited government on matters between the states with the states left to make their own laws that did not interfere with federalism. Exactly like Russia today. That is a common sense approach as each state has different matters that affect its citizens, like the coastal states and the central plains states and the great lakes states. 
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magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
Joined: April 19th, 2018, 8:25 am

June 8th, 2018, 4:40 pm #15

Hi RFM

I think the reason why I was asking this question was because where as in Britain and other countries there is a system in place that allows a person to pay a fine over a certain amount of time and that is you say allows the system to avoid paying exorbitant amounts of money for someone who has committed a trivial crime to keep them in prison so I was asking the question about whether or not the US has a system in place to allow people to pay up a fine in installments and if not they should have a system of something like this to allow them to avoid paying out a lot of money per week or month and thus saving the taxpayer a whole lot of money in keeping people who have committed a very minor crime from going to prison and if they have to go to prison instead of having a small fine that I assume is where the term us debtor prisons comes from.
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RFM
This is Ma' Life!
RFM
This is Ma' Life!
Joined: February 9th, 2006, 3:13 am

June 8th, 2018, 7:17 pm #16

There is a very good description of the English debtor's prison in one of Charles Dickens's novels, the title of which escapes me now. 
However in America the issue of payment of fines is generally left to the states and the municipalities. It can be and frequently is abused though. For instance in Missouri it turns out that communities with large African American communities are regularly threatened and squeezed with jail time to extract fines, cash that is, from people who can not really afford to pay. Rather than impose some sort of community service such as road cleaning, moping floors in municipal buildings etc., the poor blacks are held in jail. Hence the civil rioting. So the answer to your question is no there is no uniform law or policy regarding fines. 
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magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
magicmuggle01
On A Journey (500 Miles)
Joined: April 19th, 2018, 8:25 am

June 11th, 2018, 9:38 am #17

RFM wrote: There is a very good description of the English debtor's prison in one of Charles Dickens's novels, the title of which escapes me now. 
However in America the issue of payment of fines is generally left to the states and the municipalities. It can be and frequently is abused though. For instance in Missouri it turns out that communities with large African American communities are regularly threatened and squeezed with jail time to extract fines, cash that is, from people who can not really afford to pay. Rather than impose some sort of community service such as road cleaning, moping floors in municipal buildings etc., the poor blacks are held in jail. Hence the civil rioting. So the answer to your question is no there is no uniform law or policy regarding fines. 
This sounds terrible. It's like people are kept subjugated so that they have no means of escape from any given situation.

And I think that the book you were thinking of was Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.
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RFM
This is Ma' Life!
RFM
This is Ma' Life!
Joined: February 9th, 2006, 3:13 am

June 11th, 2018, 12:54 pm #18

Yes and in actual practice it can be truly awful in some places. America is a very large well populated country and there is much diversity of opinion as to how debts should be collected. Before the recent federal reform statutes, debt collectors used threats of violence, called people's employers, harassed people with fake and fictitious litigation, just about everything short of mob tactics. And it was all legal. 
There is a large exception to the reform statutes and that is the collection of municipal and state fines. But municipalities have other tools like placing liens, garnishing tax refunds etc, but in the poor black communities they use imprisonment, which of course the Blacks charge imprisonment for debt. They are learning however to elect Black municipal leadership with an eye to changing those policies, but there is a substantial element in America that opposes what they see as lieniency for Black Americans. These are Donald Trump's constituents.
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