I am concerned by the reaction of Tom Carr as well as many community members in response to CU Law Students taking illegal camping tickets to trial. Mr. Carr stated that he thinks the attorneys and students trying these cases “may in fact be hurting people” by taking away from other services available for the homeless. Frankly, I find it disturbing that a prosecutor would have this attitude.
People have the right to a trial. No matter how guilty the person, or how petty the crime, people have the right to be heard and mount a defense. No one should be bullied out of exercising these rights by being told that they are taking services away from others in need. Nor should the cost of the trials be a concern to our community. If the ordinance preventing camping is important to Boulder residents, then they should be willing to pay the price of enforcing it.
Constitutional rights exist to protect us all. Whether or not you agree with the camping ordinance itself, the attorneys and students who try these cases are merely providing legal representation to people who not otherwise get it. They are merely ensuring that rights are protected and that city prosecutors do their jobs.
Carina M. Jenkins, Esq.