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Gov. Bryant Calls for Halt on Early Releases for ones Involved in Law Officers’ Deaths

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 16 May 2013 07:25am | comments
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Hess/MPB News

Governor Phil Bryant wants to change state law to require people involved in the death of a law enforcement officer to serve their entire sentence. The call comes on the heels of a man serving only 2 years of his forty year sentence for his role in the death of a highway patrol trooper.

 

William Francis was released in March, roughly two years after beginning his 40 year sentence for leading a high speed chase thourgh Northeast Mississippi that resulted in the death of Trooper Steve Hood.

 

Hood's widow Lisa says she was shocked to learn of his release.

 

"Total shock and disbelief because I had not been made aware of any of that," Hood said.

 

The case is prompting Governor Phil Bryant to call for a new state law that would require anyone involved in the death of police officer to serve their full sentence.

 

Bryant, a former Deputy Sheriff, says the longer term is justice for officers.

 

"What I am going to ask the legislature is if a plea bargain occurs and a law enforcement officer's life is lost because of that individual's actions, he should serve at least the time he has been given by the courts. If he pleas to 40 years with 7 years, he should serve seven years. He shouldn't get the good time. He shouldn't get the time off for good behavior," Bryant said.

 

Lisa Hood agrees and thinks that the guarantee of longer sentences would be a comfort to officers in the field.

 

"To know that these guys will be prosecuted and serve their time, I think does add just a little bit of comfort this day and time when you never know when you walk up on a vehicle what to expect," Hood said.

 

Currently, offenders can reduce their sentence through good behavior and if they are working...Bryant says he will recommended legislation ending that practice for some offenders during the next legislative session.

 

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Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Hess/MPB News


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