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Missouri House moves bill to revamp minimum sentencing laws

Missouri House moves bill to revamp minimum sentencing laws

February 19th, 2019 by Associated Press in Missouri News

Thomas Jefferson's statue graces the south side of the Missouri Capitol.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri House is advancing a bill that would largely undo mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

House members gave the measure initial approval in a voice vote Tuesday. It needs another vote of approval to move to the Senate.

The legislation would allow judges to ignore mandatory minimum sentencing requirements for some nonviolent offenders.

Judges still would have to follow minimum sentencing laws for those convicted of violent crimes, sexual crimes against minors or crimes involving a gun.

The Republican-sponsored measure has bipartisan support in the House.

Republican Rep. Shamed Dogan during a Missouri Legislative Black Caucus press conference Monday also cited revamping mandatory minimum sentencing as a priority in the push for broader changes to the criminal justice system.

A similar Senate proposal has not yet had a hearing.