Y’all need to know who your DA is,” he reminded the crowd. “You give us a lot of authority. . . . We can choose to prosecute anything. We can choose not to prosecute anything.”
Using what he termed “prosecutorial discretion,” Northcott said, “the social engineers on the Supreme Court now decided we have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them.” In his jurisdiction, which includes the area that hosts the summer music festival Bonnaroo, Northcott ensured that same-sex partners would not be afforded the protections of domestic violence laws.
In Tennessee, a domestic assault conviction carries enhanced punishments, like permanently forfeiting the right to own a firearm. The prosecutor’s interpretation of the statute was that the sanctions were created to “recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage.”
When reached by phone, Northcott said, “There’s no marriage to protect with homosexual relationships, so I don’t prosecute them as domestic,” and refused to comment further.