Bill Toughens Prison Sentencing Crime Measure Requires Felons to Serve at Least 85 Pct. of Term

By Terry Ganey Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau Chief | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 13, 1994 | Go to article overview

Bill Toughens Prison Sentencing Crime Measure Requires Felons to Serve at Least 85 Pct. of Term


Terry Ganey Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau Chief, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The Missouri Legislature sent Gov. Mel Carnahan a significant anti-crime measure Thursday night: a requirement that those convicted of dangerous felonies serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch said the measure was "probably the most effective criminal prosecution legislation that's ever been passed in this state."

McCulloch, who helped lobby for its passage, said it meant that an inmate sentenced to 20 years for rape would have to serve at least 17 years of the sentence. Currently, he said, inmates sentenced to 20 years are often paroled after five years.

The Senate passed the measure 33-0 Thursday night, and sent it to Carnahan for his signature. The House had approved it earlier. The bill is one of several anti-crime measures that Carnahan and legislative leaders said was needed to combat the increase in serious violence, especially in metropolitan areas.

McCulloch said he had asked about half of his staff to do quick research on what the bill would mean in St. Louis County. He said his staff had identified about 200 cases of crimes by people who were out on parole and who had served less time than what was called for in the bill.

"Not one of those crimes would have occurred if this legislation was in effect because they would still be in prison," McCulloch said. "The passage of this bill makes it a very successful session."

Sen. Joe Moseley, D-Columbia, a former prosecutor, sponsored the bill. …

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