FERGUSON, Mo. – Tuesday, Saint Louis University Law professors will ask the Ferguson Mayor to grant clemency to thousands of non-violent offenders.
The SLU professors, along with the non-profit Arch City Defenders, are asking the mayor to wipe the slate clean for those who owe fines for traffic tickets. The group says Ferguson, a town of 21,000, has more than 40,000 outstanding warrants for non-violent offenders. They say many have served weeks jail, but the time served does nothing to reduce their fines.
Saint Louis University professor Brendan Roediger says many offenders go to court but can't afford to pay the fines and that's when warrants are issued and a cycle of mounting debt begins.
"We're asking the mayor to use his power basically get rid of these fines and give people a fresh start," said Roediger. "Allow people to live their day to day lives without the threat of incarceration at any moment."
NewsChannel 5 reached out to the Mayor of Ferguson but so far calls have not been returned.