MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The mayor of Memphis is hoping for a change to the “Truth in Sentencing” law.
Mayor Jim Strickland has stated that he wants aggravated assault to be added to the list of crimes that are ineligible for early release.
The “Truth in Sentencing” law, which took effect in July 2022, requires that people who are convicted of violent crimes such as murder, carjacking, especially aggravated kidnapping, and especially aggravated robbery serve 100 percent of their sentence.
Currently, the “Truth in Sentencing” law doesn’t require those convicted of aggravated assault to serve 100 percent of their sentence. Instead, they must serve at least 85 percent before becoming eligible for parole.
“Last year’s ‘Truth in Sentencing’ bill was a major step towards making sure that the people who are committing violent crimes remain in prison for their full sentences,” Strickland said in his weekly update. “Aggravated assault needs to be added to the list of crimes that are serious enough to mandate prison time and be ineligible for probation.”
Strickland has been a vocal supporter of the “Truth in Sentencing” law. In June, he appeared on WREG’s “Live at 9” and pushed back against those who criticized the law.
“People fire guns at other individuals and they get less than a year in jail,” Strickland said. “And there are people arguing that’s too tough, and we shouldn’t do it, and that is baloney. And those people feel no responsibility for the injuries that are inflicted by these bad people shooting guns.”
Strickland also applauded the law at the ceremonial bill signing.
“The criminals in our city are laughing at the system. They know that if they commit a crime and get arrested, they’ll be back on the streets in just a short amount of time,” Strickland said. “That’s unacceptable.”