WDAM Viewpoint- Mississippi Sentencing Laws

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Whatever happened to the "truth in sentencing" law in Mississippi that was supposed to see to it that criminals served something like 85% of their sentence before they could be considered for release?  I'll be honest…I'm not sure anyone knows—but at the time it was  billed as a panacea to keep people from getting out of prison too soon due to over-crowding, sympathetic parole boards and such.

Seven-on-your-side's Elizabeth Googe took a look this week at a case in Jones County in which Jason Creel…convicted to 20 years for the manslaughter of William Guy…is being set free after less than 12 years through the earned release program.  Next week another Jones county man, James Pugh, convicted of the homicide, kidnapping and rape of a fourteen year old girl, will have a chance at being paroled after serving 24 years.  This, after originally being sentenced to life plus 50 years.

How do you earn your way out of a sentence like that for such a violent and reprehensible crime?  Jones county Assistant District Attorney, J. Ronald Parrish,  is up in arms against the Mississippi D.O.C. About the early release of violent offenders like these and others.  State Senator, Chris Mcdaniel is calling for the Mississippi Legislature to do something about this problem.  We support his efforts…but,  if they do, we hope whatever law they pass is more effective than the last time they addressed the situation.  I'm Jim Cameron and that's today's Viewpoint.  Write and let us know what you think.