Oregon Senate OKs Bill to Help Convicted Veterans - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Senate OKs Bill to Help Convicted Veterans

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SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Senate passed a bill Monday that would require courts to consider a veteran's military background during criminal sentencing hearings.

The measure would allow a judge to give a lesser sentence or put the service member in a treatment program rather than prison.

Proponents say the bill 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 comes after a 2010 law allowing district attorneys to tell the court about a defendant's military status.

The bill now moves to the House.