Friday, August 1, 2008

New California Graffiti Law

"The Terminator" just signed a new law that makes those who are convicted of vandalism in the state of California legally responsible to "clean up" the graffiti they produced at said property. They can also be forced to maintain the spot for up to one year.

Another BRILLIANT legislative move by the law makers to thwart illegal graffiti.

I feel like a broken record writing diatribes on why lawmakers and officials are NEVER going to create any sort of effective legislation to curb graffiti and its practitioners.

My biggest gripe with graffiti "laws" and the whole lot is that the rule of thumb always seems to be to increase the penalty and it will decrease the frequency. WRONG! It wasn't even a decade ago when they decided that making graffiti and vandalism a felony grade offense.

And how has that worked out thus far? Horrible. You are taking non-violent offenders and putting them in with other felonious offenders people who have been charged with assault, robbery, rape, to name a few.

Also and this is more specific to Los Angeles, but when these kids go to paint over graffiti in some of the more dangerous neighborhoods without the protection of the night they are quite likely to get attacked by local gangs. As was the case when 2 kids were shot and killed for doing the EXACT same thing the law requires: cleaning graffiti.

I'm realistic about graffiti. It's a crime. It should not be done with etch bath, scribes, on churches, schools, community centers, in neighborhoods, etc.

That being said it is a legitimate part of the urban environment just like smog, noise, cars, billboards, adverts, newspaper stands, bike racks, the whole lot.

This is going to be interesting to see how this one plays out. My prediction it's going to get bad. Real bad.

New California Graffiti Law

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