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Chicago's Real Organized Crime Problem

Chicago is crooked, as everyone knows.  If you want to visit a true "den of iniquity," go to a Chicago courtroom.  It seems injustice trickles down to the lowest level of justice - in this case, parking tickets. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, the city earns approximately $210 million by writing parking tickets.   (Via Overlawyered).  That Chicago vigorously enforces its traffic and parking laws is not itself a cause for concern.  What is a cause of concern is this:

James Reilly, head of the Department of Administrative Hearings, which handles about 275,000 appeals every year from motorists cited for non-moving violations, said that more than 50 percent of those who contest parking citations are found not liable after hearing officers consider the evidence.

"Those numbers have been consistent for 10 years, and the numbers don't lie," Reilly said. "Most people who contest a parking ticket prevail ... and if people do not agree with the decision of the administrative law officer, they have the ability to appeal to the Circuit Court."

Of course, this statistic is cited as proof that "the system works."  (This is what death-penalty advocates say when someone is spared from death row 30 seconds before being killed by the state.)  Heck, half the people who are issued a parking infraction are cleared.

Of course, the real problem is this: Why are 50% of people who are given tickets falsely accused?  How can a system that falsely charges 50% of motorists be considered fair or just?

I suppose we could say that people who are more likely to be innocent of a parking infraction challenge their tickets.  Hence, there is no 50% error rate.  The real "error rate" is likely smaller.  Fair enough.  This still means that Chicago writes 137,500 wrongful infractions a month. 

One-hundred and thirty-seven thousand bogus tickets a year.  Every year.  At an average of $50 a ticket, this means the city of Chicago attempts to steal $6,875, 000 from innocent motorists.  This is attempted theft, plain and simple.

If a corporation engaged in conduct that involved cheating over 137,500 people each year, there would be an outcry.  There would be calls for prosecution.  The Department of Justice would be on the case.  There would be perp walks.

If a group of Italian Americans attempted to extort seven-million dollars from people each year, they'd be call a family.

But since it's a city that is stealing and attempting to steal from innocent people, everyone will ignore this as simply politics as usual.