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Haslam Voices Support For 12 Hour Cool Off Period; Others Object

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Haslam Voices Support For 12 Hour Cool Off Period; Others Object

CREATED Jun 24, 2014
by Nick Beres

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Governor Bill Haslam voiced support for state lawmakers planning to pass a mandatory 12 hour cooling off period for domestic violence suspects. But, other legal experts argued that doing so is a bad idea.

The growing controversy stems from the Nashville case of David Chase. He was arrested for domestic abuse earlier this month and sent to jail. But Judge Casey Moreland waived the 12 hour cooling off period mandated by the commissioner and Chase was released early.

Police arrested Chase later charging him with attacking the alleged victim again.

Outrage over what happened is driving a new legislative effort to make the 12 hour cooling off period mandatory and to take discretion on the issue away from judges.

"The passion of the moment can bring out not the best in people and having 12 hours to let people cool off is just a wise policy," said Governor Haslam.

Defense attorney Jim Todd, a former prosecutor, said what happened to the victim in the Chase case was horrible. He said Judge Moreland made a bad call, but that's the exception to the rule.

Todd feels judges need to remain in the mix and opposes the proposed legislation. In some cases, he said a 12 hour hold is needed but not in others.

"I had a domestic assault case come across my desk last night on a man for domestic assault because he threw a dog leash at his girlfriend," said Todd.

Would that merit a 12 hour hold? Todd's point is that all cases are different. And a blanket 12 hour hold treats everyone the same.

"We elect judges to make decisions. Let them make decisions on cases as they know it," said Todd.

If state lawmakers do pass a mandatory 12 hour hold, Todd believes the law will be challenged in federal court. He said it could be a violation of the 8th Amendment because it abridges your right to have bail set.

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