District attorney general in Cleveland, Tennessee, won't prosecute COVID-19 executive order violations

gavel tile court tile justie hearing charges / Getty Images

A Cleveland, Tennessee district attorney general says he's refusing to prosecute violations of executive orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release from the 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

District Attorney General Stephen Crump says his office will not enforce any criminal sanctions or penalties against any citizen for violating one of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's executive orders.

"While I have great respect for Governor Lee, I cannot in good conscience, and with fidelity to my oath, allow what I believe to be unconstitutional criminal proceedings to take place," Crump said in the release. "There cannot be two standards of criminal justice in this state. It is not constitutional, nor is it just."

Crump cited Executive Order 30, which was issued on Tuesday, that continues the closure of "close contact personal services" and "entertainment, recreational, and certain other gathering venues" while still forbidding "social or recreational gatherings of 10 or more people."