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Case Dismissed: Detroit Prosecutors Overwhelmed By Caseload, Layoffs

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DETROIT (WWJ) - After a layoff of 26 county prosecutors last week, some cases are being dismissed at the 36th District Court because there have not been enough attorneys available to handle the caseload.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she believes there is money to help fund her department, but the county refuses to do so.

Worthy said there is concern about the warrants that will have to wait to be issued.

“We’re trying to figure out which ones seem to be the most dangerous of people and try to get them issued first.  But, we’re fearful everyday that someone on that list, because we can’t get to it — my child abuse unit has gone from eight lawyers to two-and-a-half — we’re fearful everyday that one of those people named in a warrant by police may do something to harm another child,” said Worthy.

“We’re backed-up 66 sexual assault warrants. I’m not even talking about the old rape kit warrants. We’re backed-up on those, too,” she added.

Chief Judge Kenneth King for crimes such as driving with a suspended license or no insurance, judges may have no choice but to throw out the case.

“In those instances where we do have people down here charged with those kinds of cases – there are a couple of options, they can either adjourn it or they can dismiss it, ” If it is set for trial and there is no prosecutor we really have no choice but to dismiss.”

Chief Judge King doesn’t see anything changing anytime soon.

“I have been in discussions with the Wayne County Prosecutor trying to see if there is anything at all that we can work out but it appears as though her hands are tied,” said King. ” … that she just does not have the resources to allocate prosecutors to the district courts.”

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