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Carcieri vetoes probation reform

Cynthia Needham has the details:

As the law now stands, if someone on probation is arrested, he or she is sent to prison with no recourse should they be found innocent of the new crime, or if the charges are dropped.

The legislation –– passed with widespread support in two separate bills –– would free violators in those circumstances.

But Carcieri in his veto message said case law shows that a person on probation “enters into a contractual agreement with the state that requires ‘[k]eeping the peace and remaining on good behavior.’ ”

The governor cited a Rhode Island Supreme Court decision that suggests the burden of proof for a probation violation is “considerably lower than in a criminal case” and “does not require the commission of an illegal act.”

This is the second prison-related bill the governor has rejected in the last week. Last Monday he vetoed a plan to eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug dealers.

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