Tennessee lawmakers propose bill that would remove early release for 14 crimes

A new bill being pushed by Tennessee Republicans would require those convicted of 14 different felony crimes to serve the entire sentence given to them with no shortened sentences for good behavior or time served prior to conviction.

The “Truth in Sentencing” bill, if passed, would apply to anyone convicted on or after July 1, 2022. Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, who is an advocate of the bill, told reporters on Wednesday, “This year, we are looking at the violent crimes, and we feel there are certain crimes out there that are so horrific and so violent that those crimes should be 100% of truth in sentencing. What they get is what they serve.”

Another bill proposed by state Republicans, called the “Transparency in Sentencing for Victims Act,” would require the court to publicly announce the prison sentences received by those convicted and the amount of time they should serve before being eligible for release.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Curcio said of the second bill, it is “heartbreaking when a victim learns an offender will serve only a fraction of their sentence before being released. This legislation will prevent that traumatic experience and ensure we have transparency in sentencing. I appreciate Speaker Sexton trusting me to carry this critical legislation.”

Rep. Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga) told The Chattanooga Times Free Press this week that he opposes the new bills, saying they are outdated and costly. “I’m sure with some citizens, that plays well, but I really question what it does for that person,” he said. “It takes away the ability to improve the behavior of that individual and for them to be, hopefully, model citizens with assistance when they come out.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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