SALEM, Ore. — A bill has passed in the Oregon Senate allowing a judge to give a lesser sentence or choose to put a military service member in a treatment program rather than prison.
The bill now moves to the House.
The Oregon Senate unanimously passed the bill that would require courts to consider a veteran’s military background during criminal sentencing hearings.
Proponents say the measure could help identify veterans who need treatment for combat-related mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder. They say service members would not get a “free pass,” especially for violent crimes.
The bill follows a 2010 law allowing district attorneys to tell the court about a defendant’s military status.