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Cite and release considered for non-violent crimes

Other cities in Texas have adopted similar ordinances which is meant to keep the court system from being overwhelmed with people who commit victimless crimes.
Cite and Release
Cite and Release(KGNS)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Could arrests for certain non-violent crimes soon be a thing of the past in Laredo?

That’s one proposal city council could be looking at.

It’s called “cite and release" and if approved officers would have discretion to release people who commit victimless crimes.

Those people would be given a citation and let go pending a future court date.

Other cities in Texas have adopted similar ordinances which is meant to keep the court system from being overwhelmed.

Critics of these kinds of ordinances fear people caught with drugs like marijuana would also be released.

Groups like SCAN think this kind of ordinance sends the wrong message and is signing a petition opposing the measure.

Municipal Court Judge Chuy Dominguez, who could hear some of these cases, says there are several ways to look at this.

“If studies show and other places have shown that this type of program helps in helping rehabilitating, because at the end of the day if people still get fined using the marijuana or the small quantities of the marijuana and if that gets done, those fines are going to be used to supplement those rehabilitative programs and those programs that are needed for the people that have addictions, so at the end of the day they go hand in hand.”

The measure still needs full approval from the Laredo city council.

Similar cite and release ordinances have been approved in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

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