by AJ Adejare
Graffiti can now lead to felony convictions. 98 North Carolina house representatives passed a new bill that can upgrade graffiti charges to a felony in hopes of curbing vandalization of property. The process follows a three-strikes system where on the third strike you can be charged for a felony.
The bigger problem is that while prosecutors love this type of law and wanted it passed, citizens of feel more apprehensive for the charges. Diane Allen discussed with that while graffiti maybe harmful to property, charging via felony does not make sense for the crime. Miles Allen backed up this train of thought stating the following to WYFF:
“Basically your life is ruined if you get a felony…I mean you can’t get a job, you can’t do any of this. And I think for something like artwork, why should your life be ruined for that?”
While tagging maybe harmful for the property, jailing people for creating art in inappropriate places can be worse. Felonies make you unemployable and double so if you’re a minority. The fact that we can jail people over something that can be fixed by the persons themselves is scary. Locking up potential artists that could create great art by collaborating lawfully is scarier. The fact that it may do more harm over the long term than the tagging itself maybe the scariest aspect.