RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Legislation to restrict judges’ authority to defer convictions has died in the General Assembly.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 11-3 Friday to reject a bill authored by Del. Ben Cline (R-24th District), which was prompted by a Virginia Supreme Court ruling that judges have broad authority to delay disposition of a case. Judges sometimes use that authority to give first-time offenders a second chance if they stay out of trouble.

Some lawmakers complained that the ruling undermines their authority to write laws that judges are required to apply. The backlash was especially strong in the House of Delegates, where legislators have grilled judges who are up for re-election about whether they have used their authority under the court’s ruling to delay cases.

Opponents of Cline’s bill said legislators should not erode judges’ discretion.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS DC

CBSLocal App
Watch Live

Listen Live