…it’s certainly a deterrent for me to walk down one side of the street when I see twenty yards in front of me a gang of menacing-looking thugs approaching from the opposite direction. I’m most likely to cross the street and avoid the possible confrontation. … However, if I were told as I walked down that sidewalk (with no thugs in sight) that some number of years after I have walked down the sidewalk, a group of thugs might be called together (after much legal wrangling and automatic appeals, etc.) and might possible menace me for having had the audacity to walk down that sidewalk on their side of the street — I probably wouldn’t be deterred.
This argument applies to any punishment far removed from the crime, including Texas’s silly “Driver Responsibility” fees. They have no deterrent effect, and they are not paying for a service.
This is simply a way that liberals and too many Republicans hide new taxes.