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You have to ask

Virginia Court of Appeals Judge D. Arthur Kelsey couldn’t help but imply that Robert Thurman Pilson might not be the best candidate for a home electronic monitoring program.

Not only was Pilson sentenced to the mandatory minimum one-year term for driving as an habitual offender, his criminal record includes convictions for escape, eluding police, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, hit and run, assault and battery, trespass, breaking and entering, unlawful wounding, larceny and various probation violations, Kelsey noted.

“Perhaps the sheriff might nonetheless find it in the public’s interest to release Pilson. We are reluctant to offer a prediction one way or the other,” Kelsey wrote in Pilson v. Commonwealth.

His attorney never asked the sheriff to consider home electronic monitoring, so the court could not consider whether the sheriff has the authority to grant it, even if state law expressly prohibits a judge from doing so and gives the judge the authority to remove an offender from an electronic monitoring program if a sheriff places him in it, Kelsey said.

By Alan Cooper

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