Hard Times: Citing Budget Woes, California County to Stop Prosecuting Small-Time Drug Offenders

Prosecutors in Northern California's Contra Costa County, adjacent to Oakland and Alameda County, announced Tuesday they will no longer prosecute a number of misdemeanor offenses, nor will they prosecute felony drug possession cases involving only small amounts of drugs. The new policy goes into effect May 4, District Attorney Robert Kochly told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under the new policy, anyone caught with less than a gram of methamphetamine or cocaine or less than a half gram of heroin will not be charged. Ditto for people caught carrying fewer than five ecstasy or prescription opioid tablets.

"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."

Kochly sent a memo Monday to the Contra Costa County Police Chiefs Association, which represents local police chiefs, asking them not to even bother submitting such cases. "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.

The charging changes are necessary to eliminate a $1.9 million budget gap in the district attorney's office this fiscal year. Six deputy district attorneys will be laid off at month's end, and another 11 will be let go by the end of the year, Kochly said.

Kochly had long taken pride in saying his office could "do more with less," he wrote in the memo. "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 cops aren't happy. Several Contra Costa county law enforcement officials told the San Jose Mercury News Wednesday that they would continue to make arrests regardless of prosecutors' charging decisions.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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All wars have an economic component...

"The cops aren't happy"... WTF... who cares what the cops think!

It's the cops that should be afraid of what we, american citizens, think... not what law violating politicians and prohibitionists dictate... under the guise of promoting the general welfare!

Paying TAXES = Aiding and abetting our collective enemies... So STOP it!

It's also why now, more then ever, we need to attack our drug dealing alcohol enemies. The deadly drug alcohol should be another target of the pot communities wrath... not because we don't like beer, hell I brew approx. 10 gal a month of the best Belguim Ale... without the sin taxes.

Bottomline... the more money the alcoholic drug dealers have to spend to convince drug addicts and the rehab industry that alcohol is not america's #1 drug is 1 less dollar they can use to line a liarticians pockets to persecute us.

laws

Remember the Big Lie a lot of cops dish out about how they just enforce the laws? And if you don't like the laws change them? The fact is the cops have a vested interest in not just keeping laws in place but in proliferating as many as they can get away with.

Contra Costa County DA Hoax

The refusal to prosecute low level crime in Contra Costa County, CA, appears to have been a hoax to raise money for a county budget deficit.  District Attorney Robert Kochly appears to be very proud of his deception.

Giordano

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