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U.S. Attorney Says Sequestration Cuts Could Make San Diego Less Safe

Evening Edition

Aired 8/20/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Laura Duffy - United States Attorney for the Southern District of California.


San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy

Above: San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy

Sequestration was a big story earlier this year. Congress' failure to come to an agreement on government spending meant $85 billion was cut from the federal budget.

But the sky did not fall immediately after Congress allowed across-the-board budget cuts to take effect. So, interest in the story tapered off.

Now Laura Duffy, the U.S. Attorney in San Diego, is hoping to revive interest in sequestration. Her office faces the potential for significant cuts.

Sequestration cuts resulted in a $1.6 billion reduction to the U.S. Department of Justice 2013 budget.

The DOJ has made cuts to travel, training and other spending to "minimize the harm of sequestration to our mission." Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a significant change to the federal "mandatory minimum" charging policy for some non-violent, low-level drug offenders.

Holder told NPR, "I think there are too many people in jail for too long and for not necessarily good reasons."

Almost half of people serving time in federal prisons are there on drug charges.

Duffy said those cuts are not enough. She said furloughs of prosecutors and cuts to her budget will force her to make painful choices and could potentially affect the safety of the community.

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Avatar for user 'marasmom'

marasmom | August 20, 2013 at 3:40 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Stop with the expensive, interagency "task forces" to pad "drug" arrest stats with legal medical marijuana patients and caregivers in California, and other states where medical marijuana is legal. And stop charging them, chewing up taxpayer dollars making plea deals with them to pad your "drug" conviction stats, and taking those who won't play your game to even more expensive trial.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | August 20, 2013 at 4:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Checklist: Check your security system, buy a big dog, lock and load. Who needs prosecutors?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 20, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

And this is a bad thing???

We should double the sequestration cuts.

Then double them again.

And again.

And again...

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | August 21, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

If Ms. Duffy thinks that government service funding cuts are bad, why did she contribute to Carl DeMaio's campaign? Does she think that funding cuts are good for other government agencies, but not her office? Sorry, it doesn't work that way, everybody takes a haircut under the laws Congress passed. She doesn't get a free pass. If she needs more money, start intercepting more of the trillions of dollars in drug money headed south from the US to Mexico every year. If they did that, the Border Patrol and her office would be completely self funded and have literally tons of money left over.

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