Coffee County Attorney General Craig Northcott’s stated policy of not prosecuting intimate partner violence assaults based upon his personal conviction that the charge of domestic assault is intended to validate the sanctity of marriage makes no sense legally or morally. The most common domestic violence victim in the State of Tennessee is a single, white female in her early 20s. Would Northcott refuse to charge her batterer with the correct charge based upon her marital status? Would he direct a victim of domestic violence to marry her batterer to ensure that she get the optimum level of judicial protection?
The extra attention and punishment given to domestic violence victims is not intended to validate marriage. It is to provide a vulnerable population with as much protection as government and law enforcement can provide. Persons involved in a cycle of violence are far more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than by a stranger, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Northcott is either willful ignorant of these facts or blatantly pandering to his electorate. I am a 20-year police veteran and have worked with plenty conservative Christians who were able to execute their sworn duties without the schism that appears to have plagued Northcott. Northcott swore an oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution which includes the 14th Amendment, which he may not be aware provides for equal protection to all citizens under the law. If Northcott cannot abide by his oath he should resign or be removed from office as incapable of extending the right he has sworn to defend.