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“A new North Carolina law takes effect Friday that is designed to hamstring the ability of judges to waive fines and fees for poor people.
“Critics say the law will mean jail time for more poor people who can’t pay court costs that start at $179 for a seat belt violation and can easily surpass $1,000.
“The law is believed to be the first of its kind in the country. It runs counter to reform efforts in other states that are attempting to reduce the number of people jailed because they are unable to pay fines or fees or make bail.”