Friday, October 7, 2011

At Least Tucson's Not Topeka

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM

This has to be one of the worst budget-cutting ideas I've ever heard. Wow. I honestly don't even know what to say.

The Topeka City Council will decide next week whether to essentially legalize domestic violence in the Kansas capital, in a budgetary game of chicken with Shawnee County, which encompasses Topeka. The fight started when Shawnee District Attorney Chad Taylor, facing a 10 percent budget cut for next year, announced Sept. 8 that his office would no longer prosecute misdemeanor cases, including those involving domestic violence, inside Topeka city limits. The City Council is betting that if it strikes Topeka's ordinance against domestic battery, it will force Taylor to reconsider. Here's what you should know:

What happens if Topeka follows through?

If the City Council repeals the domestic-battery ordinance, municipal courts wouldn't be able to take on those cases, effectively sending the ball back to Taylor's court. Domestic violence is still a state crime. But "because only Taylor has authority to decide what cases he files and prosecutes," domestic violence prosecution could slow to a trickle, says The Topeka Capital-Journal in an editorial. Repeat offenders are charged as felons, and the D.A. would still take those cases.

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