Tennessee public officials ineligible for alternative sentencing
NASHVILLE, TN. (Times Free Press) -- A new Tennessee law that holds public officials more accountable for crimes committed related to their government position or duties is constitutional, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper says in a new legal opinion.
Public Chapter 766, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, states that elected or appointed officials are not eligible for pre-trial diversion for offenses committed in their official capacity or duties of office.
In the opinion, requested by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, Cooper says that under the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions, pretrial and judicial diversion would be considered "truly extraordinary relief" and are not "fundamental rights."
Nor would equal protection provisions in the state and U.S Constitutions apply, Cooper wrote.
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