- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A published report says dozens of suspected killers, rapists and others who were arrested by Detroit police over the past four years have been released because of a backlog of unsigned warrants.

The Detroit News reports (https://bit.ly/138v2Lr ) that among the unsigned warrants at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office are 21 for murder, including one going back to 2010. The newspaper says there are 105 for sexual assault and 126 for child abuse.

In most cases, police were forced to release the suspects, since the law requires that they can’t be held beyond 72 hours without being arraigned.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says many of the releases are a result of too few employees in her office. She says the office has “lost half of our staff and it is no surprise that we are not able to fulfill our mandated functions with such drastic staff reductions.”

Worthy’s spokeswoman Maria Miller says the prosecutor’s office has 134 staff attorneys, having lost more than 90 this year due to budget cuts. In 2010, the prosecutor’s warrants division had eight full-time attorneys; there are now five full-time attorneys.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he sympathizes with issues at the prosecutor’s office, but he has staffing challenges of his own. He says it’s “not an option” for police to say they’re understaffed, for example, even though there are fewer officers than when Craig started.

Meanwhile, Craig says, all his officers can do is continue to arrest suspects.

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Information from: The Detroit News, https://detnews.com/

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