Topeka considers decriminalizing domestic battery

  • Victims of domestic violence are probably not feeling lucky.

In news that seems more likely to be coming out of Somalia than Kansas, Topeka’s City Council is considering repealing the city ordinance regarding domestic battery. Yes, they’re looking at decriminalizing domestic battery. But don’t worry! They’re doing it for a good reason: to save money. See, Topeka still wants abusive family members to be charged with crimes, but Topeka just doesn’t want to pay for prosecuting these jerks. If domestic battery is no longer covered under city law, then arrested asses would have to be charged by the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office. Problem is, the DA says it’s too broke to try wife beaters, too. Really. This is happening in America.

The whole kerfuffle over footing the bill to carry out justice for battered family members started in September when Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced that the county could no longer afford to pursue misdemeanor charges in Topeka, including domestic battery. This left the city to take on the cases, and with a tight budget and a city attorney’s office that hasn’t handled a domestic-violence case in more than a decade, it was ill-prepared to do so. In the first week after Taylor made his announcement, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that 30 domestic-battery cases were rejected, and three suspects were released and presumably returned home because no charges were brought. Really. This happened in America.

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