District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway said the truth in sentencing bill that will go into law will be a positive change for victims.
Dunaway said the legislation will make defendants of violent crimes serve 100 percent of a sentence without reduction or parole eligibility.
“It’s a very difficult situation to look the mother of a person who has been killed in a vehicular homicide case and explain to them that the person that killed their son might be released in prison in 12-14 months,” Dunaway said. “That’s hard for a victim to understand.”
Dunaway said in cases such as vehicular homicide, suspects generally serve 12 to 14 years. However under current law, Dunaway said violent offenders can earn a parole hearing after serving just a third of the sentence.
“The offenses that are the subject of this bill are violent offenses where individuals have been hurt or harmed,” Dunaway said. “Those type of crimes should have some element of punishment.”
Dunaway said the new law will provide victims assurance that offenders will serve full sentences. The changes will become law on July 1st.
“I think it is a good thing in that regard,” Dunaway said.
Some other crimes that fall under the new law are attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping, arson and burglary. Governor Bill Lee did not sign the bill, but he also did not veto it.