Sandburg says his office is running 'past capacity,' setting priorities

Laramie County District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg says his office is struggling with an ever growing caseload and a stagnant budget, and therefore he's having to set priorities. Right now, Sandburg says his office is putting an emphasis on cases involving violence, children, and vulnerable adults. While this doesn't mean any other types of cases are being put aside, he described these three as the office's "priorities." Over the last decade or so, the Laramie County DA's Office has seen the amount of cases increase significantly while the office's allotted budget has remained about the same. While the office continues to do more with less, Sandburg said its gotten to the point where his staff can't just "work harder" to get the job done and serve justice. They are "past capacity." A trial stack is the list of trials all set to begin the same day. This is done to because in many cases, things get resolved through agreements and thereby keeps the system moving. With more than 30 trials stacked for trial on the same day, a regular occurrence, he said he's having to plead out more cases than he'd prefer. While Sandburg sees everything from the prosecutors point of view, he acknowledges that the growing case load effects the Public Defender's Office as well as the judges. He said the whole system needs to grow. The legislature has approved a fourth District Court judge for Laramie County, but making room for that judge could take years as far as physical space goes. #shortgo #news