March 25, 2003
Posted at: 3:43 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, Ark. -- A House committee today discussed legislation that would tinker with laws passed in recent years to require certain offenders to serve 70 percent of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Representative Sam Ledbetter of Little Rock is offering several bills. The most drastic among them would repeal the 1995 law requiring certain criminals to serve 70 percent of their sentences. Others allow for good time for meth offenders or would exempt first-time offenders from the 70 percent rule.
Ledbetter says something has to be done because the state's prison budget is rising too quickly. Prosecutors oppose changing the laws and say there's no evidence that reducing the minimum sentencing will ease the budget problems.
Ledbetter plans to work on the measures and bring them back later.