Topeka Repeals Domestic Violence Law
Via the NYT: Facing Cuts, a City Repeals Its Domestic Violence Law:
Three arms of government, all ostensibly representing the same people, have been at an impasse over who should be responsible for — and pay for — prosecuting people accused of misdemeanor cases of domestic violence.
City leaders had blamed the Shawnee County district attorney for handing off such cases to the city without warning. The district attorney, in turn, said he was forced to not prosecute any misdemeanors and to focus on felonies because the County Commission cut his budget. And county leaders accused the district attorney of using abused women as pawns to negotiate more money for his office.
After both sides dug in, the dispute came to a head Tuesday night.
By a vote of 7 to 3, the City Council repealed the local law that makes domestic violence a crime.
The goal here is to force the county to prosecute the crimes, as the state law remains in force. The ploy appears to have worked. Of course, since the county itself was seeking not to prosecute those crimes within the city as a means of saving money, one has to wonder how well these crimes will be addressed.
This is all rather unfortunate , as the protecting the vulnerable should be one of the fundamental tasks of government.