Enjoy Hitting Your Spouse? Move to Topeka

The city of Topeka, Kansas, which is broke because it exists in America, maybe won't prosecute domestic battery anymore because those cases are too expensive. City officials want the county district attorney to handle them now. But the DA just said last month that he's not going to prosecute any misdemeanors committed in Topeka at all, due to office budget cuts.

Maybe it's time for Topeka to officially let all of its spouse abusers off the hook. Liberate them, trust them to rehabilitate on their own time and their own dime. People need to trust each other more. Actually, this is kind of what's going on already, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal:

In August, the Shawnee County Commission cut [Shawnee County District Attorney Chad] Taylor's 2012 budget by 10 percent, or $347,765, from its 2011 budget of $3,477,651.

In the meantime, police spokeswoman Kristen Veverka confirmed that 16 people have been arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery since Sept. 8 but were released from the Shawnee County Jail after charges weren't filed.

The police chief says that 18 arrestees, actually, have been released. As for the victims: they're probably trying to take their minds off the fact that they might be in serious danger.

Next week the Topeka city council will consider changing the city code to erase expensive domestic battery from its Things That Are Illegal in Topeka list. They really don't want to! The mayor says he and the council support prosecuting domestic violence cases, and that anyone who believes offenders will get off easy is "dead wrong"—even though that has actually occurred already, so what is he even talking about.

Seems like Kansas (official nickname: the What's the Matter With You? state) and its municipalities are trying to become America's leaders in developing stupid and horrible budget-busting strategies. Kansas is the first and only U.S. state to completely defund the arts, for example. And now this. While it's true that many cogs in the American justice machine skew toward overcriminalization because of our culture's bizarre and psycho passion for punishment, some acts—murder, rape, beating people up—don't count as part of that trend.

Maybe Topeka can use this decriminalization thing to its advantage on the tourism and economic development fronts. Come to Topeka, spouse beaters! We won't send you to jail. Enjoy our restaurants. Buy property. We've got low taxes. Have a nice time.

[Courier Journal, via Think Progress. Image of man pretending to act abusively toward a woman via Shutterstock]