California Running Out of Money for Luxuries Like... Prosecuting Crimes

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ROMOSAPIEN9, Apr 23, 2009.


    ROMOSAPIEN9 Proud Grandpa

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    (04-21) 16:41 PDT MARTINEZ -- Misdemeanors such as assaults, thefts and burglaries will no longer be prosecuted in Contra Costa County because of budget cuts, the county's top prosecutor said Tuesday.

    District Attorney Robert Kochly also said that beginning May 4, his office will no longer prosecute felony drug cases involving smaller amounts of narcotics. That means anyone caught with less than a gram of methamphetamine or cocaine, less than 0.5 grams of heroin and fewer than five pills of ecstasy, OxyContin or Vicodin won't be charged.

    People who are suspected of misdemeanor drug crimes, break minor traffic laws, shoplift, trespass or commit misdemeanor vandalism will also be in the clear. Those crimes won't be prosecuted, either.

    "We had to make very, very difficult choices, and we had to try to prioritize things. There are no good choices to be made here," said Kochly, a 35-year veteran prosecutor. "It's trying to choose the lesser of certain evils in deciding what we can and cannot do."

    Barry Grove, a deputy district attorney who is president of the Contra Costa County District Attorneys Association, said, "There's no question that these kinds of crimes are going to drastically affect the quality of life for all the citizens of Contra Costa County."

    The decision not to go after any perpetrators of certain offenses, Grove said, amounts to "holding up a sign and advertising to the criminal element to come to Contra Costa County, because we're no longer going to prosecute you."

    Don't even bother submitting the cases, Kochly said Monday in a memo to the Contra Costa County Police Chiefs Association. "If they are submitted, they will be screened out by category by support staff and returned to your department without review by a deputy district attorney," he wrote.

    Kochly wrote that he had long taken pride in saying that his office could do "more with less."

    "Unfortunately, we have now reached a point where we cannot maintain the status quo," he said. "We will definitely be doing 'less with less' as a prosecution agency."

    The changes are needed to help eliminate a $1.9 million budget deficit in the district attorney's office for this fiscal year. By month's end, six deputy district attorneys will be laid off, and 11 more will have to be let go by the end of the year, Kochly said.

    The county Board of Supervisors originally proposed cutting the office's budget by $4.1 million. But after Kochly argued that such a reduction would hurt his ability to prosecute petty thefts, the board used sales-tax revenue to close the gap.

    Supervisor John Gioia, who represents Richmond, said the list of crimes that Kochly says he won't prosecute is far longer now than what he told the board during its budget deliberations.

    "I don't think it's a good idea for the chief prosecutor in the county to inform the public at large what cases they're not going to prosecute," Gioia said.

    The district attorney's decision was upsetting news to Janet Kelleghan, an employee at Donna's Gifts in Concord, which has been victimized by thieves in the past.

    "If they know they're not going to be prosecuted, there's going to be a lot more shoplifting," Kelleghan said. "I'd ask them to reconsider," she said of the district attorney's office.

    Kochly said prosecutors will still consider charging suspects with certain misdemeanors, including domestic violence, driving under the influence, firearms offenses, vehicular manslaughter, sex crimes and assault with a deadly weapon.

    If you're going to San Francisco........
  2. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Reasons like this is why California wont tell you about the people that racing out of that state.

    Its not all the liberals, but because California screams to the rest of the country they are progressive and the leader of doing things better, its a shot to the pride with this.
  3. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Well, since they won't prosecute assaults, anyone shop lifting in my store would get a baseball bat to the head :)
  4. iceberg

    iceberg well at least we're not the browns Zone Supporter

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    vigilante justice, here we come!

  5. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    Jeez, man don't do it with a deadly weapon. They'll prosecute you then.... ;)
  6. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    Ironically, the most popular destination for Californians to move to is Texas. Seriously.

    While tons of people do move away from California, even more move in.
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    That is great. I hope they are not going to do like many did from Michigan where they come down here and tell us how things should be done. If you did such a great job in Michigan you would not be coming down here. :laugh1:
  8. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    all with spray tans and fake boobs

    and guys like me who follow them around
  9. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    It's funny because the most popular destination for Californians is Texas. The most popular place for Texans is New York. The most popular place for New Yorkers is Florida. The most popular place for Floridians is New York.
  10. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know I think the most popular place for Texans is Texas :laugh1:

    All joking aside for me if I was to live any where other than Texas it would be Virgina, I have been to most of the states and Virginia seems the closest to home
  11. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    Actually, you're right! I was just talking about out of state moves, but more Texans make instate moves than any other state. What part of TX do you live in?

    NM: It's in your sig, haha.
  12. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I live in Houston. It is a good place to make money but I'm hoping to one day retire up in the hill country outside of the Austin area.

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