Notably, at least two different opinions were offered in court regarding Mr. Wills' artistic talents. "“That’s not art, that’s vandalism,” was the assessment of the prosecutor. But the Judge Hawthorne begrudgingly granted that "Wills has talent, the judge said as she examined portraits submitted by his attorney. 'You can make a living at this,' she said." That was also, apparently, the graffiti czar's assessment, reported the News' Diane Jennings:
Going to court could turn out to be a good career move for Wills. Attorney John Barr, who has mounted a campaign to clean up graffiti in the city and has been dubbed Dallas’ “graffiti czar,” said the judge’s sentence was appropriate. “The point is that the kid’s got a lot of talent and doesn’t have a lot of support,” Barr said.Wills was sentenced to six months in jail, though if he violates his probation Judge Hawthorned promised to sentence him to four years. Which do you think would be a better, long-term preventive to keep Mr. Wills and his friends from writing on walls in Dallas? A long stint in jail, a four-year prison sentence, or strong probation on the back end and a job? The latter sure costs less, if Mr Wills will accept and take advantage of the opportunity. As always in such cases, you can offer folks a chance but can never make their choices for them.
Dallas needs to develop alternatives for expression and ways to develop self-esteem, Barr said.
“We’re going to get this kid a job,” he said.
BTW, you know how else you can apparently make a living at in Dallas? Cleaning spraypainted trashcans. Reported the News, "Prosecutors told the court it cost the city $66 per trash bin to clean them." I keep trying to imagine what combination of products and labor might amount to $66 per trashcan cleaned, and a reasonable calculation eludes me. Further evidence, if more were needed, that Grits has chosen the wrong line of work.