Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue won’t ask lawmakers to modify the “two strikes” law enacted a decade ago that critics say is jamming state prisons and forcing judges to impose sentences that don’t always fit the crime, says the Associated Press. Georgia’s law, one of the nation’s toughest, requires at least a 10-year sentence for anyone convicted a first time of any of seven crimes: murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and aggravated battery. Those convicted a second time must spend the rest of their lives in prison with no opportunity for parole.
Perdue noted that this year, the first people sentenced under the two-strikes law will complete their sentences. Those 126 people will walk out of prison without even a parole officer looking over their shoulders. “One of the problems that we’ve become aware of is that under the mandatory sentencing, there is no provision for a controlled re-entry, such as parole,” Perdue said. “We probably made a mistake in that.” Perdue wants time to see if a transition program for two-strikers will work: “For these prisoners who will get out, we’re giving them more responsibility, more training. We’re trying to prepare them for re-entry.”