Cruel and Unconstitutional | Letters | Chicago Reader

Cruel and Unconstitutional 

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Dear Sir:

The November 24 Reader article, "Beat the Meter" [Neighborhood News], dealing with parking meter problems reminded me that Chicago's parking meter ordinance may be unconstitutional.

I once received a ticket at a parking meter which had failed to respond when I inserted my coin. I telephoned the Parking Bureau, and discovered that I could receive more tickets there if I failed to move my car. The ticket on the windshield was irrelevant to the ticket writers.

It occurred to me that the ticket writer could save shoe leather by simply standing at my car, and writing ticket after ticket all day long.

Thus I could receive an excessive fine for my trivial offense, but the Eighth Amendment specifically prohibits excessive fines. If Chicago's parking meter ordinance permits excessive fines, couldn't it be unconstitutional?

Stuart Simon

Chicago

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