Friday, October 03, 2003

Woman who slept on a bench convicted of sleeping on a bench

According to this report in the Roanoke paper, a woman who hangs out on the streets of downtown Roanoke was convicted of sleeping on a bench outside Center in the Square. The article notes that "A judge in Roanoke General District Court fined her $10 for violating a city ordinance that is criticized by some as a way to criminalize homelessness and defended by others as a weapon against derelicts." The woman did not deny sleeping on the bench; she keeps her possessions in a shopping cart, and she explained, "I had been pushing that buggy and I tell you what, it wore me out." An ACLU representative the ordinance under which the woman was convicted is "the kind of ordinance that purports to be about sleeping on a bench but in fact is about trying to get a certain element of society out of the way."

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