State Bar of California California Bar Journal
Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California February2007
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Karen J. Mathis
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No quality of life

It is of course commendable that some counties have “homeless courts” that allow homeless persons to clear their records so that they can qualify for jobs, housing, substance abuse treatment, driver’s licenses, etc. However, many of the “quality of life offenses” that they’re charged with hardly seem like offenses at all, including sleeping on the beach, illegal camping and urinating in public.

Issuing citations for quality of life offenses is just a way of harassing homeless people in the hopes that they will somehow disappear. In addition to having homeless courts, cities and counties should examine whether it makes sense to continue to issue quality of life citations.

Donya Fernandez
Forest Hills, N.Y.

Colorblind society?

The legal profession’s manic obsession with diversity does, in fact, water down standards while foolishly promoting people on the basis of their skin color or gender. Law schools routinely accept those with lower test scores as long as they are members of a protected minority. The California bar exam was changed because not enough minorities were passing. A “performance test” replaced questions dealing with the law.

As to diversity being good for business and good for government, I say the best person for the job — period. What ever happened to Martin Luther King’s vision for a colorblind society?

Paul W. Thomas

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