Another View: 'Another man's lyric' shouldn't cost him $20
The residents of Middleborough, Mass., have had enough.
In a state with a storied history of Puritan-inspired prohibitions, they voted 183-50 in a town meeting last week to approve a proposal that would, among other things, impose a $20 fine on public profanity – despite the First Amendment.
In a town of roughly 20,000 people – a town that the Associated Press described as best known for its cranberry bogs – profanity was just one of several practices addressed in the recently passed bylaw. The idea was to decriminalize certain behaviors prohibited in existing legislation that a cumbersome legal process often discouraged officers from enforcing.
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