Gov. Bill Haslam says he supports making the 12-hour "cooling off" period in domestic violence cases mandatory after a prominent Nashville contractor was arrested twice for assaulting his girlfriend in a single day.
"I think that makes sense," the Tennessee Republican said. "I'm far from an expert on that, but from what I understand, it just feels like that is a common sense law."
Middle Tennessee lawmakers have said they plan to introduce a bill next year that would require people arrested for domestic violence to remain in jail at least 12 hours. The holding time is meant to give victims of domestic violence time to make new arrangements before aggressors are back on the streets.
Tennessee law calls for a 12-hour cooling off period, but it gives judges discretion to waive the requirement when they don't think it's needed.
Earlier this month, General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland ordered contractor David Chase to be released only a few hours after he was arrested on a charge that he assaulted his girlfriend in a Nashville apartment. Police were called back to the apartment the next morning when Chase confronted her as she gathered belongings.
Critics say Moreland's decision could discourage future domestic violence victims from reporting their abusers.
Haslam told reporters Monday that he would sign a bill making the cooling-off period mandatory but then qualified the remark by saying he would need to see the measure first. State lawmakers are not scheduled to reconvene until January.