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Prosecutor pushes to maintain discretion on dropping charges

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 18:13:04-04

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- A northern Virginia prosecutor who says county judges are infringing on her discretion to dismiss charges is asking the state Supreme Court to intervene on her behalf.

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti filed a petition Friday asking the court for a relief from a policy imposed by the county’s four Circuit Court judges.

In March, two months after Dehghani-Tafti took office, the judges required prosecutors to file a written brief explaining themselves any time they decide to drop charges or enter a plea bargain.

Dehghani-Tafti was one among a cadre of prosecutors across the nation to win office on a reform agenda, promising not to prosecute lower-level drug offenses.