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View Full Version : Contra Costa Can't Afford to Prosecute Assault, Theft, Burglaries or Drug Crimes


TatankaGap
04-22-2009, 10:59 PM
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/21/BAK9176EGO.DTL


Too bad AB 357 didn't do well; y'all are gonna need some protection as the counties run out of cash, they prosecute fewer people and without an armed civilian populace, ya'll are fish in a barrel - might want to get on that Nordyke incorporation and get yourselves shall issue status via the courts, for your own safety - ~

***
Many Contra Costa crooks won't be prosecuted

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

(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.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

PolishMike
04-22-2009, 11:00 PM
dupe dupe dupe

CCWFacts
04-22-2009, 11:04 PM
I wonder if they can still afford to prosecute misdemeanor CCW-without-a-permit?

Vtec44
04-22-2009, 11:06 PM
They just need to waste more time and tax payer's money on more laws that they don't have the resources to enforce. That will stop criminals!

deldgeetar
04-22-2009, 11:11 PM
Yes, no money to prosecute crimes, but let's give over half the state budget to the schools, which are of course, the best in the damn country.:rolleyes:

yellowfin
04-22-2009, 11:13 PM
This news = Good Cause?

Dr Rockso
04-22-2009, 11:38 PM
On the plus side, if you live in CoCoCo and someone pisses you off, you can apparently punch them in the face with impunity.

Texas Boy
04-22-2009, 11:49 PM
I suspect this may be a ploy to force the funding issue.

BTW - in the comments section below the article there was a comment quoting the DA that "firearms offenses" among other things still would be prosecuted. Again, it was in the comments section - so source is unknown.

DDT
04-22-2009, 11:53 PM
I suspect this may be a ploy to force the funding issue.


DING!!!!

They used to first threaten to close schools, then they got guaranteed funding for schools and couldn't use that to artificially pressure voters, then they stared to threaten closing parks and playgrounds and when that didn't work, libraries. Now, they've dropped the nuclear bomb. If you don't vote to increase taxes we won't prosecute the bad guys. And we aren't going to stop going after traffic violators or building codes. It's the evil drugs that we'll stop prosecuting.

nick
04-23-2009, 12:05 AM
I wonder if they can still afford to prosecute misdemeanor CCW-without-a-permit?

BTW - in the comments section below the article there was a comment quoting the DA that "firearms offenses" among other things still would be prosecuted. Again, it was in the comments section - so source is unknown.

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.

tazmanian devil dog
04-23-2009, 8:38 AM
I too think this may be a ploy to obtain funding. Don't think for one second that you are un arrestable or that you can't be prosecuted. I know lots and lots of cops, most of whom are very good people. However, they will still arrest your butt for a weapons violation, especially a ccw violation. Do not give the District Attorney the satisfaction. Remember, the DA is NOT YOUR FRIEND!!!!! To them, it's all about politics and climbing that ladder at the DA's office. Justice means absolutely nothing to them, only a conviction rate.

Untamed1972
04-23-2009, 9:02 AM
so my question then would be to the LEOs in that county.....why bother then even arresting someone and wasting your time writing a report on it when it's just gonna get round-filed anyway.

Truth is, alot of those petty crimes prolly never get prosecuted anyway.

ilbob
04-23-2009, 9:19 AM
This has to be a ruse for more funding. Its like when the school board wants gold plated toilets they threaten to cut football so the public caves.

ilbob
04-23-2009, 9:20 AM
Truth is, alot of those petty crimes prolly never get prosecuted anyway.
Bingo!

SwissFluCase
04-23-2009, 9:38 AM
I predict street justice.

Regards,


SwissFluCase

Untamed1972
04-23-2009, 9:47 AM
On the plus side, if you live in CoCoCo and someone pisses you off, you can apparently punch them in the face with impunity.

Well under CA law and the "stale misdemeanor rule" the COPs can't arrest you for misdemeanor assault/battery anyway unless they actually see you do it. So if you pop that jackazz in the bar and he wants to press charges he has to do it by means of citizen arrest and then have the COPs "receive you" as an arrested person.

Untamed1972
04-23-2009, 9:50 AM
I predict street justice.

Regards,


SwissFluCase

shoplifting = loss of finger. 2nd offense = loss of hand.

If the COPs catch someone with a small amount of drugs they should do like your dad did when he caught you with cigs and made you smoke the whole pack till you puked. Got a small amount of dope on you....."You can go to jail....OR....take it ALL right now! You're choice."

SwissFluCase
04-23-2009, 9:53 AM
shoplifting = loss of finger. 2nd offense = loss of hand.

Great. We're going to have sharia law in CC? That *is* where such a trend could start! :eek:

Regards,


SwissFluCase

demnogis
04-23-2009, 10:00 AM
If the PD or Sheriff threatens to not protect the people, then the people must invoke their 2nd amendment right to protect themselves against lawlessness in their community.

Untamed1972
04-23-2009, 10:10 AM
If the PD or Sheriff threatens to not protect the people, then the people must invoke their 2nd amendment right to protect themselves against lawlessness in their community.

File your CCW app and in your good cause statement, state nordyke and then include a copy of the DA's statement.

Maybe people need to say screw the CCW app process and instead of asking for permission to carry, just send a letter to the sheriff INFORMING him you will be exercising your right based on such factors as discussed here and that if he disagrees he has 10 days to respond in writing. Failure to respond will be assumed to the sheriffs granting of your CCW.

DDT
04-23-2009, 10:37 AM
Hmmm.... I wonder if someone who does get prosecuted for a burglary or drug crime that was otherwise "clean" could sue on the grounds that they were selectively prosecuted since the prosecutor had already said their policy isn't to prosecute such crimes.

Dr Rockso
04-23-2009, 10:44 AM
Maybe people need to say screw the CCW app process and instead of asking for permission to carry, just send a letter to the sheriff INFORMING him you will be exercising your right based on such factors as discussed here and that if he disagrees he has 10 days to respond in writing. Failure to respond will be assumed to the sheriffs granting of your CCW.
Let us know how that goes...

Untamed1972
04-23-2009, 10:47 AM
Let us know how that goes...

I said "people"...not "me". LOL Besides I don't live in that county so it would be hard for me to use that DA's comments as my grounds.

CCWFacts
04-28-2009, 11:37 AM
I found the letter from the DA (http://www.bayareanewsgroup.com/multimedia/cct/multimedia/pdf/lettertopolicechief.pdf) which gives all the details of what they will and will not prosecute.

Yes he wants more funding, but they are having significant layoffs so they do have to start triaging.

Anyway, they will NOT prosecute misdemeanor crimes for weapons EXCEPT firearms. They will continue to prosecute for firearms. In fact PC 12031 (CCW without a permit) is specifically mentioned as a misdemeanor they will prosecute.

So CoCo County has not suddenly become "Vermont carry by budget crisis".

TatankaGap
04-28-2009, 11:47 AM
Maybe tho, since they're prosecuting misdemeanor conceal carry, it'd be worth an open carry bbq (unloaded, of course as I don't think there are any unincorporated areas in that county but I might be wrong) ~ the press would be great -

like, this maybe: "The DA says they don't have the money to prosecute most misdemeanor robberies, burglaries or thefts but they DO have the money to prosecute law-abiding citizens for misdemeanor concealed carry so we're here openly carrying our firearms, exercising our Second Amendment rights and our First Amendment rights to gather and express ourselves."

Someone better at soundbites can take it from there.....:chris:

Publius
04-28-2009, 12:34 PM
Well under CA law and the "stale misdemeanor rule" the COPs can't arrest you for misdemeanor assault/battery anyway unless they actually see you do it. So if you pop that jackazz in the bar and he wants to press charges he has to do it by means of citizen arrest and then have the COPs "receive you" as an arrested person.

Arrest and prosecution are different things. The DA's office can prosecute you for a misdemeanor even if the police can't actually arrest you for it anymore. Also the stale misdemeanor rule (as I understand it) only applies to arrest without warrant, so the police could still get a warrant for your arrest.