Topeka Prosecution Crisis Passes; Budget Crunch Blamed


The county’s district attorney has reversed his course and will resume prosecuting domestic battery cases committed in Topeka, Kansas, after the city’s council repealed the city ordinance outlawing the crime on Tuesday, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. District Attorney Chad Taylor made that announcement Wednesday, less than 24 hours after council action compelled him to do so. The controversy, which attracted national attention to Topeka this week, hinged on a budget crunch.

Taylor said Sept. 8 he would no longer prosecute misdemeanors committed in Topeka, including domestic battery, because his office could no longer afford to do so after county commissioners cut his budget by 10 percent. Before the city council action, Taylor contended the city attorney’s office should prosecute misdemeanors committed inside Topeka city limits. Speaking on NPR Wednesday, Taylor predicted that the financial duress felt by prosecutors nationwide will prompt similar controversies in other counties and cities as officials choose which crimes take priority.

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