Wednesday, April 22, 2009

DA: We Won't Prosecute Misdemeanors

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 6:21 AM

Many misdemeanor crimes, including thefts, assaults, burglaries, and drug offenses will no longer be prosecuted in Contra Costa County because of budget cuts, according to the Chron. District Attorney Robert Kochly made the announcement yesterday, saying he needed to close a $1.8 million deficit and lay off prosecutors. Kochly also says his office will no longer prosecute some felony drug possession crimes. That makes a lot of sense, quite frankly. If counties throughout the state stopped putting people behind bars for small-time drug offenses, which essentially are victimless crimes, then their budgets would be in much better shape. But not prosecuting misdemeanor thefts, assaults, burglaries? That looks like a mistake, and the county ought to be able to reprioritize it funds to stop that from happening. In fact, it makes you wonder whether the DA is trying to scare the county board of supes into giving his office more money.

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