Town Without Teeth

A California D.A. with budget woes cuts down on prosecutions

THE FORECAST FOR STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: MORE crime and less punishment. District Attorney John Phillips has advised police chiefs of San Joaquin County that a budget crunch prevents him from prosecuting most misdemeanors. He faces a $1.1 million, or 22%, cut in his budget on June 30 if Governor Pete Wilson carries out a plan to divert local property-tax revenue to state coffers. Warned Phillips: "We have no choice but to commit remaining resources to the prosecution of the most serious crimes." Among misdemeanors, only drunken driving, domestic violence and resisting arrest will be prosecuted. Phillips may be trying to scare the...

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