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State Leaders Discuss Bill that Could Increase Shoplifting Penalties for 1st Time Offenders

JACKSON, Miss.–If you’re caught shoplifting, the fine could be going up. A bill that passed the state House of Representatives Tuesday to do that, though, was not without controversy and some delta representatives questioned how the bill might affect young people and their parents, were it to become law.
Penalties for a 1st offense misdemeanor shoplifting conviction would increase from a maximum of $1,000 to $1,500. For the second offense the penalty would be up to $3,000. A third offense could get a person fined up to $4,000.
here are individuals, small kids, who may pick up a candy bar i n the store and get arrested for shoplifting,” said Rep. Tracey Rosebud, who represents parts of Tallahatchie, Sunflower and Grenada counties.”So, we would expect their parent to pay $1,500 for shoplifting that piece of candy?”
Rep. Gene Newman, of Rankin County explained children are under the jurisdiction of the youth court, and the proposed law would not apply.
“We have to be realistic about it. There are individuals who go to the extreme with small items like that,” said Rosebud.
Rep. Bo Brown, of Hinds County asked for the insertion of a clause in the bill that would state specifically that kids would be handled in youth court. Newman insisted that such a clause is unnecessary because of the way the justice system is built. Brown and Rep. John Hines, of Washington County, also asked for a value threshold to be part of the bill.