The case of David Springer has been the driving force behind a proposal to toughen Tennessee laws for armed robbery, requiring those convicted of aggravated robbery to serve 74 percent of the sentence, instead of 30 percent, before they could get parole, The Tennessean reports. The bill is scheduled for a House vote this week. To make room in prison, the bill would allow less-violent offenders to serve their punishment with ankle monitoring devices and other programs.
At 14, Springer and a friend kidnapped a Nashville motorist at gunpoint and carried him on a harrowing two-hour ride through the darkness of a November night. He pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in 2007 and was sentenced in adult court to serve eight years behind bars. But he served only a small fraction of that time and is accused of several crimes since going free. Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas said that in Davidson County, 142 people were convicted of aggravated robbery in 2005. Of those, 62 were already rearrested, leading to 122 new convictions since their early release.