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Judges Cuts Court Fees to Mark bin Laden's Death

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on May 05, 2011 6:46 AM

If you happened to be on the hook for a misdemeanor in Arkansas this week, the killing of Osama bin Laden saved you some money.

Judge Brad Karren, a district state judge in Rogers, Arkansas, commemorated Osama bin Laden's death by giving some citizens a lucky break.

Karren gave misdemeanor violators a $51 discount on court fines and fees.

The discount of $51 was meant to reflect the date of May 1st, the date that a group of American Navy SEALs raided the bin Laden's compound and killed the 9/11 mastermind in Pakistan.

One lucky misdemeanor violator in Judge Karren's courthouse was Jerry Camilo of Rogers, Arkansas, who received a free pass for his $25 seat belt violation, the AP reports. After Camilo pled guilty, Karren informed him that he would not have to pay any fine.

Judge Karren says that he is proud of the U.S. military and of President Obama. He wishes for the American public to remember the significance of this U.S. victory against terrorism, the AP reports.

Judges can set court fees and fines. This is usually within the purview of their judicial power. While Karren's actions are unorthodox they are not outside the bounds of what is legal.

What qualifies as a misdemeanor in Arkansas? Misdemeanor violations are less serious offenses than felonies, and more serious than infractions. Misdemeanors are generally criminal offenses that can result in either fines or a stint in jail.

Crimes that generally result in misdemeanor charges in Arkansas include first offense possession of marijuana or computer trespass. In Arkansas, misdemeanors are classified into either Class A (more serious), Class B (less serious) or Class C (least serious) offenses.

No doubt many other Americans are joining Judge Brad Karren in commemorating bin Laden's death.

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