Wham went the mallet in the April 17 editorial critical of Maine law suspending driving licenses for failure to pay a fine, even though the fine had nothing to do with an auto violation (”Our View: Maine law on suspending driver’s licenses unfair, unproductive”). Got a better example of government bullying?

The word “unproductive” can further evidence millions in unpaid fines. On Dec. 31, 2013, the amount was nearly $25.4 million. I’m on the verge of willingness to eat crow if the sum isn’t at $27 million today.

Judges should administer collection of fines. Clerks should not. If judges can’t collect, who can? Folks must either pay fines or personally reappear in court, on successive strict schedules, to report their payment failure reasons. Eventually, when patience runs out, fines get paid. “No shows” get contempt of court orders.

Every time a fine isn’t paid, the deterrent effect of the law takes it on the chin. No way to educate the public. Twenty-five million could be used deservedly by nursing homes. The daily, sacred care my wife receives in nearly three years at a nursing care facility, challenged 17 years by Alzheimer’s and three years by kidney malfunction, moves me to suggest the justice system consider getting a life.

John Benoit