Hospice patient Larry Thompson, 61, of Orlando passed away today.
|Me with Larry Thompson|
Earlier this summer my office represented Mr. Thompson who suffered from a terminal case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Even though Mr. Thomson was clearly disabled and relied on a breathing tube, he was arrested for failing to pay nearly $900 even though he could barely afford to pay rent. He was taken to jail and then transferred to the hospital.
Eventually Mr. Thompson was freed after people donated money to pay his fines. His case illustrated the situation of thousands of needy people in this community who can’t afford to pay court ordered fines. Arresting them for fines they can’t afford to pay needlessly drains police and other public resources.
The pointlessness of arresting indigent people who can’t afford to pay court fines was not lost on Ninth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Frederick Lauten who wiped from the from the court record 21,000 who failed to appear in collections court.
Larry Thompson’s suffering made a difference.