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House Speaker Sexton seeks to ensure violent offenders serve full sentence

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Posted at 9:38 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 22:38:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Wednesday, state lawmakers debated a bill that would ensure people convicted of violent crimes against women or children serve their full time.

The "Truth in Sentencing" bill would keep offenders of rape, sexual assault or a variety of other violent crimes from getting out of prison early.

"What we have seen is a judge would give them seven years and they get out within two years," said Speaker Cameron Sexton. "That's a disrespect to the victims' families and to the victim themselves."

Speaker Sexton said the bill would keep offenders from having repeated contact with their victims either through the parole process or when they're released early.

"When they have to go to parole hearings, that brings back the crime. So, that creates more problems for them trying to overcome," he said.

"Judges would still have the power to sentence offenders," said Sexton.

The bill would cost the state $24 million. It was placed behind the budget until it is funded.