The Georgia General Assembly is in full swing under the gold dome on Washington Street. Frankly, a lot of what goes on there doesn't receive enough press attention as local laws are much more impactful on Georgians than federal laws. But, recently one proposed law has received some substantial coverage. A proposed Porch Piracy Law.
Proposed Porch Piracy Law
House Bill 954 is a proposed law that would make stealing someone's package from their porch a felony. Stealing a package would be treated as a felony no matter if the package contained a fifty-cent pack of paperclips or a piece of jewelry worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As a felony, the porch piracy law would permit prosecutors to seek up to five years in prison for a violation of the law.
How Does the Porch Piracy Law Differ From the Current Law
Currently, if a package is stolen the defendant would be prosecuted under the current set of theft laws. The current theft laws provide for different punishments based on the value of what is stolen. Ranging from misdemeanor punishment for items under $500 and then increasing levels of punishment for felonies as the value increases.
What Do I Think?
I think that there are enough crimes on the books and that adding more is bad. I believe that law enforcement currently neglects investigations as it pertains to porch piracy because many of the offenses are misdemeanors and making felony arrests help cops get promoted, therefore, the porch piracy investigations are neglected.
So instead of incentivizing cops to investigate by making a misdemeanor a felony, we (as a community) should instead voice our concern about porch piracy to local elected law enforcement officials and demand that these cases are given priority.
Furthermore, we should demand that law enforcement resources be diverted from the ridiculous drug task forces (the ones that arrest people for possessing marijuana and steal seize money from American citizens to fund their purchase of new cop toys) and reallocate the money to combatting porch piracy.
These are common-sense solutions that would help communities combat porch piracy without sending folks to prison for years.