Wednesday, July 20, 2005
From KansasCity.com: (The Kansas City Star): Jefferson City, MO (AP): "Missouri's experiment with softer sentencing laws came to an end Wednesday (July 13) as Gov. Matt Blunt repealed a two-year-old law that had allowed some drug offenders, burglars and drunken drivers to get out of prison early. Instead, Blunt enacted bills defining more than three dozen new or enhanced crimes that could result in more Missourians being sent to prison and kept there longer. 'For public safety, people need to serve as much of their sentence as they can,' Blunt, a Republican, said while undoing a law signed in 2003 by Democratic Gov. Bob Holden.
Passed at a time when prison populations were soaring and state revenues were shrinking, the law allowed certain nonviolent felons with no prior prison time to seek release after serving 120 days behind bars - even though their sentences might have called for up to seven years. The law was intended to save money and get drug offenders into treatment programs. But it met criticism both for doing too little and too much." Story... [Mark Godsey]