Save money, don't prosecute domestic violence cases

October 10, 2011
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Officials in Topeka, Kan., are considering decriminalizing domestic violence in their city code. It’s not because they don’t think the crime is worth prosecuting, it’s because they need to save money. The reason they are considering this stems from the county government’s decision to transfer domestic violence crime enforcement to the city level.

In September, the Shawnee County district attorney office said it would no longer prosecute misdemeanors that happen within city limits, including domestic violence cases. The district attorney came to this decision after his office faced budget cuts. Apparently the city attorney’s office has far fewer resources than the district attorney’s office, and only one prosecutor has ever worked on domestic violence cases, with the last being 10 years ago.  

Now faced with a growing caseload due to the misdemeanor case transfer, the city officials debated whether to decriminalized domestic violence in order to save money. Repealing the code would force the DA’s office to start prosecuting that crime again. The offices of the district attorney and city are disputing who should prosecute these cases. The Topeka City Council meets Tuesday to discuss the measure.

This is terrible news for the victims of domestic violence in this area. No government entity wants to take their case. If the district attorney’s office refuses to file charges and the city attorney’s office doesn’t have the resources to do so, then the victims of domestic violence are not only physical victims at the hands of their partner or family member, but victims of inefficient and inadequate government. Those who have been arrested since the DA’s office made the decision have been released from jail after charges weren’t filed.

Did I mention that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? It seems as though Kansas is doing its part – and not it a good way – to bring attention to this issue.

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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