One of Missouri’s leading prosecutors wonders if the legislature hasn’t gotten too tough with the new domestic violence law. The law went into effect Monday. It has tougher penalties, but Cape Girardeau County prosecutor Morley Swingle isn’t sure tougher is better. The new law sets the punishment for the lowest-grade assault charge at as much as seven years. Swingle thinks juries will probably recommend county jail sentences instead of prison time, anyway. And he thinks there will be fewer trials because of the law. Swingle thinks people will strike plea bargains to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor, with counseling ordered.
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