Tennessee’s new legislation to verify powers of ‘rogue’ DAs appropriate for the instances

  • David Minier of Spring Hill is a previous district legal professional of California’s Santa Barbara and Madera counties and a retired choose of Madera County.

The Tennessee legislature’s “rogue” district attorney bill was signed into regulation by Gov. Bill Lee on Nov. 12. The new regulation will allow the state attorney general to petition the Supreme Courtroom for appointment of an impartial counsel to prosecute cases a district lawyer refuses to file. 

Despite the fact that the monthly bill handed as a result of the legislature simply, Sen. Raumesh Akbari named it a “dangerous precedent,” and Rep. London Lamar complained it would “circumvent the discretion of the county district lawyer that the persons … have elected.”            

Some felt the law was aimed at Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk, who has announced he will not prosecute sure offenses. Among individuals are possession of modest quantities of cannabis, classroom mask mandates by instructors, and failure of a company to publish a notice if transgender patrons are welcome to use their selection of men’s or women’s bogs. 

The legislation can’t be weaponized, and it can be enforced

As a former district attorney from a different point out, I can sympathize with objections to restricting a prosecutor’s discretion. But these are distinctive situations, and the new rogue district attorney law is ideal for the times. Despite the fact that some argue it can be weaponized for political objective, the law can be triggered only by the legal professional basic, a non-partisan official appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Courtroom.          

House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, raises the gavel in the Tennessee General Assembly on Oct. 27 in Nashville. Sexton sponsored a new law that gives the attorney general the power to go to the state Supreme Court in the hopes of temporarily replacing local district attorneys on cases they refuse to prosecute.

Other people argue the legislation will be tough to enforce, because it is minimal to circumstances in which a district attorney “peremptorily and categorically refuses to prosecute.” A cautious district attorney would not hazard a general public announcement, they argue, but would refuse quietly and, if challenged, blame failure to prosecute upon a crushing caseload and insufficient deputies. But a district attorney’s refusal to prosecute specified crimes could effectively turn into a badge of honor to some, due to the fact a new breed of district attorneys is showing up, preaching reform and seeking disciples. 

Leave a Reply