Tennessee armed-robbery convicts will be locked behind prison bars more than twice as long – nearly 6 years – as they are now under a bill approved by the state legislature, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Said Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons: “Our communities will be safer. This is the type of legislation DAs and other law officials have been pushing for many years.”
The bill mandates that those convicted of aggravated robbery (commonly known as armed robbery) serve at least 70 percent of their prison sentences – up from the current minimum of 30 percent – before they are eligible for parole. It sets minimum incarceration at 85 percent but allows good-behavior credits to reduce parole eligibility to no less than 70 percent of the sentence. The new bill is the fourth “Crooks with Guns” laws pushed by a coalition of prosecutors led by Gibbons, police chiefs and sheriffs and gradually enacted in recent years to enhance jail terms for crimes involving firearms.