Domestically Abused in Topeka? Too bad!

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by CaptMurdock, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #1
    You'd think they'd just decriminalize marijuana and save money that way, but this...?

    Topeka, Kansas City Counsel considers decriminalizing domestic violence to save money.

    This is "fiscal responsibility?"
     
  2. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #2
  3. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    Sometimes charges are dropped by the victim under threat of physical violence. So charges would be dropped for the very reason they were filed in the first place.

    On the larger issue - murder, rape, and other violent crimes are costly to prosecute. Why not just discontinue trying those crimes to save money. Totally absurd!
     
  4. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    I'm sure you meant she or he.
     
  5. Daffodil macrumors 6502

    Daffodil

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  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Well, erm, they do seem rather aware of it. On the other hand, it's easy for anyone to say, "You have to pay for this" without pulling out their own wallet.

    Democrats and centrists who don't take blanket Grover Norquist positions against allowing the government to collect revenues should rightly have a field day with this. I'm not defending this bill, but it's not completely unreasonable in that kind of climate for people paying taxes to demand that their money goes to the services that they see as benefiting themselves the most. Maybe it's high time blanket tax opponents see the consequences of deconstructing government beyond the level of sense.
     
  7. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    So, are you suggesting that the only laws worth enforcing are the ones that are cheap and easy to enforce?
     
  8. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Probably not. Many people like to pretend male victims of DV (who make up roughly half of all DV cases) don't exist or are figments of the patriarchy's and misogynists' imaginations.
     
  9. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Here's everyone's chance to get back at the Westboro Baptist Church.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    No, I'm suggesting that if people are unwilling to pay to maintain government, then perhaps it's time for them to see the consequences of their choice.
     
  11. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    Sound reasonable, but given the tradition of hiding this particular crime, I wonder how many folks would actually see the consequences (other than the victims.)
     
  12. CaptMurdock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #12
    If this punished ONLY the people who are "unwilling to pay to maintain government," it might be a fit punishment.

    Do I need to point out the flaw in this logic?
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    How about them not having a say in Government if they cannot support it? :eek:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    We already do that in the U.S., i.e., if you can't afford a lobbyist, you have no (real) voice in government.
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    I see no reason not to get rid of this ordinance. A battery is a battery. The need to have separate rules for domestic situations is superfluous (except of course, the domestic rules often have tougher sanctions, one of which is a loss of FOID card).
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #16
    This is true, and selective enforcement and prosecution for domestic violence have been a problem long before Topeka entered the picture (people ignoring restraining orders, without repercussion, and then escalating to more significant violence,

    There are aspects of the way the original article reported this story that seem irresponsible to me.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/us/topeka-moves-to-decriminalize-domestic-violence.html

    First, the proposed change only applies to misdemeanor domestic violence. This has potential downstream impacts for more serious crimes, but this law covers behavior at the misdemeanor level only.

    Second, the change in law doesn't really "decriminalize" anything. Misdemeanor domestic violence would continue to be a misdemeanor crime like any other misdemeanor crime. The law simply replaces authority with the DA, who was is already responsible for prosecution of the same crimes when they happen outside the city limits. This law provided extra city-level resources to enhance prosecution of this crime within the city, a benefit that rural citizens in this Kansas county never had, to begin with, and which Topeka residents also didn't have before this ordinance (at a time when domestic violence was already against the law). And no one seems to have decried the injustice that these resources were not being provided previously to rural Kansans....

    Third, the issue of prosecutorial discretion is already a firmly entrenched part of American practice (in all states, as far as I know, and for a wide variety of crimes), and it's disingenuous to pretend that it began with or ends with Topeka, KS.

    I think this is a legitimate issue, and although some people are hell bent on characterizing me as a proponent of baby-eating and lighting churches on fire, I'm very open to the idea that "nipping" some of this in the "bud" may well have a payoff in terms of preventing a much worse downstream crime like arson, rape, murder, etc, that no one wants. I think these people are foolhardy and they should be looking a lot harder at ways to minimize costs associated with other things, like prosecuting non-violent crime. However, even if I join people here and excoriate Topeka, the broader issue will remain. Namely, that in the US, if someone commits a crime against you, a prosecutor may in many cases decline to pursue it, and outside of popular opinion backlash, there is little in the way of checks or balances to this.
     
  17. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    Really? Are there not a raft of issues related to domestic violence that fall outside the realm of simple battery? What if the partner cannot afford to escape the abuser or cannot support the family with the abuser in prison? What if the community is so neo-Christian that finding a jury to convict a person who behaves as expected is nigh impossible? The nuclear family standard makes domestic violence especially problematic, though I think solving the problem needs to go beyond just prosecuting the abusers (supporting victims more effectively).
     

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