State Rep. Mike Harris on Thursday criticized the latest push in Lansing for earlier release of violent criminals from prison.
On a party-line vote, the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed House Bills 4173 and 4384 to create a sentencing commission dominated by partisan appointees. Harris, a retired law enforcement officer, said he is concerned the panel would likely make recommendations that could give legislative Democrats an excuse to push reduced sentences — a move that would compromise the safety of victims and Michigan communities.
“In Lansing, one radical proposal comes up after the next to put dangerous criminals back in our neighborhoods,” said Harris, R-Waterford. “Now a partisan panel will call for reduced sentences and give politicians political cover for their dangerous policies. We need to strengthen our criminal justice system and support victims — not put our communities at greater risk.”
Harris, who serves on the House Criminal Justice Committee, has helped lead the charge in recent weeks to oppose extreme legislation that would put victims at risk of retraumatization or retaliation. The committee has taken up legislative packages to make juvenile murderers eligible for parole after only 10 years, allow dangerous criminals to reduce their minimum and maximum sentences through a “productivity credit” system, and enable even murderers and rapists to reduce their life sentence after only 10 years in prison.
HBs 4173 and 4384 now advance to the Senate.
“Many Oakland County families exercise their right to educate their kids at home,” said Harris, R-Waterford. “While some politicians float new red tape on homeschooling, I’m looking forward to meeting with homeschool families and other interested citizens from our community.”