Appeals Court: Haslam Overhaul of Probation System Was Unconstitutional

A Tennessee appeals court ruled last week that a key prong of Gov. Bill Haslam's overhaul of the state's probation system was unconstitutional because it violates defendants' rights and encroaches on judicial authority in criminal matters, The Tennessean reports. The changes, which gave probation officers the power to dole out punishments, were made in 2016 as a part of the Public Safety Act. The Haslam administration said the goal of the measure was to halt prison sentences for low-level probation violations like failure to pay fines. The Criminal Court of Appeals said the law had “impermissibly encroached upon the judicial powers of the courts.”
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