(WBIR) Ahead of the start of the 2014 Legislative session, Tennessee District Attorneys are calling for tougher prosecution of child sex abusers, more assistant district attorneys, and increased punishment for child neglect.
In a press release, the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference said one of its key proposals would make it possible to prosecute a serial child sex abuser in a single trial, even if the abuses occurred in several judicial districts.
The organization said that currently under state law defendants accused of acts of child sex abuse with multiple victims in different jurisdictions must be tried separately in each jurisdiction.
In addition, the group said it hopes to get legislation approved that would increase punishment for aggravated child neglect and attempted first degree murder. The District Attorneys want to increase the amount of time a person must serve before being eligible for parole in those case to 85%. Currently, a person only needs to serve 30% of a sentence before they're eligible for parole consideration.
The conference will also be pushing to get funding for more assistant district attorneys in areas that have the largest caseloads.
Knox County DA Randy Nichols said in a statement that they've gone about as far as they can without more staff to deal with cases. He said he wants another prosecutor for Juvenile Court and for prosecuting prescription drug trafficking.
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference said another of its legislative priorities includes allowing search warrants to be requested and issued electronically.