Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
FAMM PRAISES MISSOURI LEGISLATURE FOR PASSING SENTENCING REFORM
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In a last-minute push to pass sentencing reform, the Missouri House of Representatives passed HB 192 on Monday by a vote of 138-11, sending the bill to Governor Mike Parson for signature and enactment into law. HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-Chesterfield), passed in the Missouri Senate unanimously on May 9.
FAMM Vice President of Policy Molly Gill issued the following statement in response to the bill’s passage by the Missouri Legislature:
Like many states, Missouri has mandatory minimum prison terms for repeat offenders, and these sentences apply even if the person’s current crime is a minor or nonviolent one. HB 192 is crystal clear about which crimes trigger these longer sentences and which ones don’t, and that means that low-level offenders won’t serve too much time away from their families. Best of all, this reform is retroactive, so people stuck with excessive sentences now will get earlier parole eligibility. Since getting a fair sentence shouldn’t depend on the day you went to court, we applaud the bill and urge the governor to sign it. We’re especially grateful for the hard work of Reps. Cody Smith (R-Carthage) and Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin) and Sen. Ed Emery (R-Lamar), who brought these reforms to life and fought to pass them.
The sentencing reforms in HB 192 would eliminate many convictions for minor offenses from triggering the longer, minimum prison term sentences required by the state’s current habitual offender law. The bill would apply retroactively, making people eligible for parole sooner if they received minimum prison terms before August 28, 2019, for an offense that would no longer be included in the habitual offender law.
In March, FAMM Justice Fellow and President Donald Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Guest Matthew Charles visited Missouri and urged lawmakers to pass sentencing reforms. Charles was the first beneficiary of the First Step Act, a bipartisan bill that reformed federal repeat offender sentences for drug crimes and was signed into law by President Trump in December 2018.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.
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