- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee attorney general will let stand a ruling striking down the state’s gang enhancement law as unconstitutional.

Attorney General spokesman Harlow Sumerford tells the Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1TLDbtj) the office won’t seek a Tennessee Supreme Court review of an April decision by a lower appellate court declaring the law constitutionally unsound.

The gang enhancement law applies to defendants who belong to gangs and are charged with a crime. If the defendant is convicted by a jury and the jury decides the law applies, then the penalty range for the crime is increased.

The appellate court said the law was so broad it allowed gang members to suffer extra punishment for crimes that had nothing to do with gangs.

The ruling is expected to affect several cases, including at least 60 convictions in Knox County.


Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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