Topeka to Legalize Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence may become legal in Topeka, Kansas, because local officials are caught up in a spat about who's supposed to pay to prosecute it.
Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced on Sept. 8 that he isn't going to prosecute misdemeanors anymore, which includes those for domestic violence, because he's too broke to deal with it. The decision came after the county commission voted to cut the DA's budget by 10 percent for 2012. Taylor argued, instead, that city prosecutors should be handling misdemeanors—even though, as the city manager pointed out at the time in the Topeka Capitol-Journal, state law requires the district attorney to prosecute those cases. Besides that, the county has better resources for dealing with those cases, especially domestic violence.
So then the Topeka City Council decided that in order to fix this situation, they would just repeal the city code that makes domestic battery illegal. Apparently council members believe this would force Taylor to prosecute those crimes. But, as domestic violence survivors warned the city council on Tuesday, that's a really terrible idea.