A bitter argument over money in Topeka, Kan., means that city and county authorities have neglected to prosecute or charge people suspected of domestic battery since Sept. 8.In other words, the local justice system has spent a month effectively sending the message that misdemeanor domestic assault will go unpunished--at least for now.
The dispute started last month, when Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced that a 10 percent budget cut to his office in 2012 meant he would no longer be prosecuting any of the city's misdemeanors, effective immediately. Topeka city council members say they can't afford the estimated $800,000 yearly cost of prosecuting those misdemeanors and jailing offenders--and that they want the county to continue carrying out misdemeanor prosecutions as it has for the past 25 years. The county continues to insist that the jurisdiction for these prosecu
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