As much as we’re all appalled and disgusted by what McCain campaign worker Ashley Todd did this week in Pittsburgh, she’s not a criminal. She’s a person who likely has some mental health problems. We really need to get over this notion that everyone who offends us or does something that we find morally reprehensible needs to go to jail. No one was victimized here. No one had any money or property stolen from them. At worst, write her a fine to cover the administrative costs of having the police pursue the case and suggest a good mental health facility for her to check herself into. We’ve got too many goddamn people in jail already in this country.
UPDATE: Richard Pope in the comments provides some excellent perspective:
Isn’t $50,000 bail a little bit excessive for a misdemeanor? If Ashley Todd had really been attacked in the manner that she falsely claimed, I wonder whether the hypothetical attacker would have received anywhere near that amount of bail.
For example, a man “charged with robbery, burglary, giving false identification to law enforcement, loitering and prowling at night, simple assault, making terroristic threats, theft, receiving stolen property and false imprisonment” in Pittsburgh (Allegheny County, Pennsylvania) was only held on $10,000 bail.