Thursday, November 25, 2004

Criminal Prosecution System

Take a look at this post by Beldar about a case in Houston where a woman took out charges, harrassed the prosecutor's office with phone calls for weeks, contacted the media, and made a general nuisance of herself -- only to refuse to show up when the court date came around.

You wouldn't believe how often similar nonsense happens here in Virginia. The magistrates are sometimes not discerning enough when allowing charges to be taken out, and so we have dozens of cases that have no business being in court, that my office gets dragged into prosecuting. Many of these cases are really disputes over property between neighbors ("Hey, let's take out a trespassing warrant, or a curse & abuse charge!"), or arguments over girlfriends. It's a waste of time, but many citizens are abusing the criminal justice system to get revenge, or something akin to it.

I don't know what the answer is, but I don't have enough manpower in my office to prosecute murders and rapes when we're distracted by matters that have no business being in court to begin with.

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