Three arms of government, all ostensibly representing the same people, have been at an impasse over who should be responsible for — and pay for — prosecuting people accused of misdemeanor cases of domestic violence.
City leaders had blamed the Shawnee County district attorney for handing off such cases to the city without warning. The district attorney, in turn, said he was forced to not prosecute any misdemeanors and to focus on felonies because the County Commission cut his budget. And county leaders accused the district attorney of using abused women as pawns to negotiate more money for his office.
After both sides dug in, the dispute came to a head Tuesday night.
By a vote of 7 to 3, the City Council repealed the local law that makes domestic violence a crime.
This is an interesting new front in our national attempt to recreate the Gilded Age. Activists have fought for decades to prioritize prosecuting domestic violence, but like outlawing child labor, food safety standards, and minimum wage laws, and environmental regulations, it looks like we should expect these laws to go away pretty soon.
Theoretically, this move is supposed to put the onus of prosecuting domestic violence in the lap of the state, but there’s no real evidence that it will do so.
At this point, it is very difficult to shock me. I expect every good thing this nation has created to be destroyed in the next 10-20 years. Yet I still managed to want to puke upon reading this. Sometimes, even I can be devastated anew.