Bill allowing video parole testimony filed by Tennessee state lawmaker

Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A freshman state lawmaker hopes a proposed law could ease the pain of parole hearings for crime victims.

Right now video testimony from off-location is not allowed at parole hearings.

Rep. Brandon Ogles (R-Franklin) who represents parts of Williamson County wants to change that.

Words from those impacted by the loss of a loved one often determine parole, but not all victims of crime want to testify so openly and publicly at parole hearings.

“That’s traumatic for the person to come…and make that statement over and over again,” said Rep. Ogles.

He says crime victims at parole hearings can now offer written testimony in lieu of being there, but he would like to see the ability to send video through an app developed by the state board of parole.

“It would allow victims of crime to let their voice be heard to that parole board…without having to come and physically relive that crime,” added Rep. Ogles.

He says the other options of testifying in person or by letter would remain in place, but with advanced technology, there should be that third option.

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