Getty ImagesWhen I went to Phoenix for Super Bowl XLII, I was terrified of breaking the law because the sheriff there was a crazy person. This year in Indianapolis, out-of-towners are getting a little bit more of an olive branch.
For minor offenses, a $100 donation to the Clothe-a-Child fund can get you completely off the hook. You do the (minor, likely victimless) crime, you do no time, and kids in need benefit. Sounds like a win-win to me.
If you're curious about what you can get away with, Deputy Prosecutor Allison Broviak told the Indy Star that minor offenses include things like public intoxication, trespassing, or selling counterfeit tickets. So maybe you can be a little more at ease when throwing back an extra shot or five, but it's not like you have a golden pass to distribute snuff films or set a police car on fire or something.
I would like to see selling counterfeit tickets removed from the list. That's not a victimless crime. That's a premeditated criminal act that preys on people desperate to see their favorite team play in the Super Bowl. If you do that, you deserve to see the inside of a jail cell.
That's my only quibble. But not everyone likes the policy.
Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU, told the Indy Star that he questions the fairness of the policy for those who aren't so well-off.
"Someone who is poor is burdened because of his poverty," said Falk. "There is a disparity of what is available to them because of their inability to pay."
A fair point. However, we are talking about out-of-towners on Super Bowl weekend, and I'm guessing very few of those are destitute. And everyone still has all the standard legal options ‒ community service, a guilty plea, a not guilty plea ‒ but I'd guess that most people will happily donate $100 to a good cause and go home.
I like it. Way to think outside the box, Indy.