- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee judge has refused to halt a policy of prosecuting repeat shoplifters as burglars.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1OFH14R ) reports the decision by Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword contradicts a ruling by General Sessions Judge Patricia Long in the same case.

It ensures the policy by Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen will continue unimpeded and that an appellate court will ultimately decide whether the strategy is legal.

Allen last year enacted a policy of filing burglary charges against shoplifters who commit new thefts at stores that already had banned them because of prior thefts.

The newspaper reports the policy came at the behest of Walmart and a handful of other chain stores. Burglary of a business is a felony. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor.

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

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