NYC Council eyes easing punishments for public urination, litter

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NEW YORK — The New York City Council is poised to pass criminal justice reforms that would curtail the punishments for low-level offenses such as peeing in public.

The overhaul intends to help unclog the courts and jails of the nation’s largest city.

The Criminal Justice Reform Act would alter the penalties for offenses including littering and possessing an open container of alcohol in public. Those offenses would remain illegal, but the legislation would steer them to civil court rather than criminal court. Some penalties would be reduced from 90 days in jail to one day in jail.

The package of bills was unveiled Monday by Democratic City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. It’ll be voted upon by the council Wednesday. It has the support of police and the Democratic mayor, who would sign it into law.

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