I often complain about the rampant criminalization of basically all behavior as well as the subsequent abuses for which enforcement of said criminalization provides the rationalization. I am one of those outlying few who believe that there are way too many criminal laws that in turn give way too much power to police and prosecutors (who, like other humanoids, are prone to abusing power.) Even Scalia agrees to some small degree (and for less compelling/scary reasons) that some of our criminal laws are problematic.
But today, I will take what could seem at first glance to be an inconsistent, but equally controversial stance:
Beating your wife (or husband or child or other family member) is bad.
Stepping past that intensive lesson on right and wrong, we jump to Topeka, Kansas, where (according to Gawker and NYT) budget cuts recently had city and county prosecutors fighting over who had to prosecute some of Topeka’s misdemeanors. This, like most political standoffs, resulted in a perfectly logical solution: they stopped prosecuting domestic violence for a couple of weeks. Only after the story attracted the attention of basically everyone in the country who writes news about this kind of stuff did they decide to get back to going after wife beaters (the persons, not their attire, which should also be illegal, but probably only if exposed to the public.)
Now, my understanding of economics is somewhat limited, and I in no way believe that I can solve anyone’s budget problems. But I am willing to bet that Topeka spends quite a bit of law enforcement/prosecution money on shit they don’t need (like this) and on crimes that, unlike domestic violence, do not by their very definition involve a victim (see drug possession, etc.). Call me crazy, but I would think about selling my war toy or letting that stuff slide before I legalized domestic violence. I certainly would not need national media attention to bring me around to those realizations.
Which leads me out onto my final limb (for this post): That was dumb.
Sorry if I blew your mind.