Bill To Peel Back Presumptive Probation To Go Before Senate Judiciary Committee

(WNAX) — A bill that would repeal provisions of presumptive probation will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today.  Currently, those convicted of a class 5 or 6 felony can be sentenced to probation as a primary punishment.  Senator Craig Kennedy, a member of the committee, says the law should be given more time to work..

“I’m probably leaning against changing the law. The law hasn’t been in effect that terribly long. There have been some good results, at least statically good results, coming from what we did.”
Kennedy says part of the problem with the law was there was not enough money for counties to follow through…

“And I can appreciate the frustration that some of the counties, typically smaller counties are expressing because they weren’t given necessarily, the resources that they believe they need to try to do, what the presumptive probation rules require.”
Kennedy says judges already have wide discretion in sentencing…

“The current law permits judges to deviate from presumptive probation; they merely have to make findings and so if the situation is appropriate, a judge can very easily say I’m not going to give someone probation, I’m going to impose different sentence. They just have to state on the record the reasons why they are doing that.”
The bill is a priority of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.