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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Void warrants for homeless people, but don’t withhold all penalties

Los Angeles homeless
Homeless people’s tents line a street in downtown Los Angeles.
(Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

To the editor: As a longtime advocate and worker for the homeless community, I applaud the decision by L.A. City Hall to void roughly 2 million warrants and minor citations. However, we must have some restraint on people breaking the law, even minor misdemeanors.

I suggest that instead of fines and jail time, these people be given the opportunity to do public service.

I have put together crews of unsheltered people in our area to clean up abandoned campsites and litter; there is no shortage of this kind of work. But most of all, let’s get them a home.

Paul Elder, Malibu

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To the editor: It is perplexing that our appointed and elected officials charged with protecting property and preserving lives in Los Angeles have decided the time-proven administration of justice philosophy of “Broken Windows,” identifying and addressing minor quality-of-life issues to make communities safer, is now an inappropriate law enforcement tactic.

The degradation of Los Angeles will continue unabated.

Joe Purcell, Arcadia


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