For Immediate Release
Contact: Garrah Carter-Mason (615) 741-3036
SEN. KELSEY’S PROPOSAL TO INCREASE SENTENCES FOR CARJACKERS APPROVED BY SENATE
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), April 5, 2016 –A proposal by State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) increasing the jail time served by carjackers is now on its way to the Governor after passage by the House of Representatives last week and approval by the State Senate on Monday night. The measure, which was attached to Senate Bill 1572 through an amendment, requires any person convicted of carjacking to serve no less than 75 percent of the sentence imposed by the court less any earned and retained sentence credits.
Under current law, offenders convicted of carjacking can serve as little as 30 percent of their sentence before being released on parole.
“This proposal will keep Tennesseans safer by ensuring that carjackers serve more time behind bars,” said Kelsey. “It is a travesty that carjackers only have to serve 30 percent of their sentence.”
Carjacking is defined as the intentional or knowing taking of a motor vehicle from the possession of another by use of a deadly weapon or by force or intimidation and is a Class B Felony. According to statistics from the Tennessee Department of Corrections, the average person convicted of carjacking currently serves less than five years behind bars.
The legislation comes amid a recent spate of carjackings in the Memphis area over the past year.
“Tennesseans should not have to worry about being held at gunpoint while driving in our communities. A red light is meant to keep you safe from other drivers, not put you in danger of being carjacked,” Kelsey added.
Upon the governor’s signature, the bill will take effect on July 1.
Senator Kelsey represents Cordova, East Memphis, and Germantown. He is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.