I followed the Sun Journal’s series on prison overcrowding with interest, particularly the mandatory sentences imposed by the Legislature. Tina’s Law comes to mind.

Habitual driving offenders definitely deserve a suspension, but losing their driver’s license for three years for moving violations is overkill. Innocent families are also affected, not just the violator.

It has been said by some lawmakers, “Hit them in the pocketbook.” Whose pocketbook?

If the violator loses his job, the financial burden falls on the family and, often times, the state.

It is impossible for anyone to go three years without a driver’s license while needing to support a family. That extreme law begs for repeat offending.

I also question the legality of Tina’s Law. Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that, “No ex post facto law shall be passed,” meaning no law would be retroactive. Tina’s Law does just that. The law was enacted in April 2006, however, the three-year suspension draws from offenses that occurred under different guidelines existing prior to April 2006, and applies the severe penalty of the new law. Therefore, in essence, making the penalty retroactive. I’m surprised there has not been a louder outcry regarding the severity of that law.

I wrote more than 40 letters to senators and representatives imploring them to revisit the effects of that law. Sen. Peggy Rotundo was the only one who acknowledged my effort. Should I be impressed with the rest of them?

Jeannette Peters, Lewiston


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