Letters to the Editor

Seizing vehicle is harsh punishment

A Gazette article highlighted a bill the Iowa House is considering that would publish the names of people who pay for sex and then seize their vehicles (“Sponsor: Bill aimed at people paying for sex is misunderstood,” Feb. 14) if the person is convicted, the vehicle would be crushed.

Seizing a vehicle can be a very harsh punishment as the value can range from less than $1,000 to over $100,000. While I really don’t have an opinion on the treatment of people who pay for sex, I didn’t actually believe the state would go so far as seizing a person’s vehicle. If this is actually an option, why haven’t we done this with drunken drivers? If we really want to get drunken drivers off the road then why aren’t we taking their cars away? Now I’m not advocating this for a first offense as I believe anyone can make a mistake and we all can learn from our mistakes. But when we are talking about repeat offenders, then clearly they are not concerned about the hazard they are creating by driving drunk. Those are people who need to have their vehicles taken away.

Lastly, why would we crush the vehicles after a conviction? That would destroy any value the vehicle had. Instead the vehicles could be auctioned off and the funds could be earmarked for a victims’ fund or treatment programs. Crushing the vehicle is illogical and just seems to be an unwarranted waste.

Patrick DePalma

Cedar Rapids

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