Jessica Bess 0

Unshackle Arizona Sentencing

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Arizona's HB 2373 calls for an elimination of the 25 (35) year sentence in the cases of first degree murder. We oppose this bill because we believe there are circumstances that call for additional consideration, including legitimate mental illness, severe drug addiction, alcoholism, long-term physical and emotional abuse, and simple poor judgment that fails to take into account the potential ramifications of actions, rather than outright evil or even hardened, callous, sociopathic behavior. Preventing the sentencing court from distinguishing between defendants by treating all defendants the same based solely on the category of the offense rather than the actual offense behavior is ill-advised, short-sighted, counter-productive, excessively expensive, and does not promote respect for the criminal justice system. The excessive expenditures that would be attendant upon enactment of this bill constitute only the tip of the iceberg of the problems that will progressively accumulate from this proposed change in the law, both within the court system and within the prison system.


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