Parson signs massive public safety bill to address violent crime

1 month 6 days 4 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
Source: KOMU 8, Columbia Missourian
By: Claire Colby, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Mikayla Easley, Columbia Missourian reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY —Gov. Mike Parson will sign an omnibus bill that increases prison sentences and eliminates probation for certain violent crimes.

Senate Bill 600, the massive public safety bill, passed during the final hours of the legislative session. The bill modifies several criminal justice policies, many of which result in longer prison sentences. Along with changes to mandatory minimum sentences and probation, the bill includes other provisions that Parson said would help address violent crime in Missouri.

"The legislation is a large step towards safety and justice for our communities," Parson said during a news conference Monday announcing that he would sign the legislation. "These tools are just the beginning of the work that needs to be done to fight violent criminals."

SB 600 increases minimum sentencing requirements for armed criminal action if the crime is committed with a firearm the perpetrator unlawfully possessed. The first offense was bumped from three to five years in prison, and subsequent offenses would be at least 15 years.

The bill also adds the offense of vehicle hijacking, changes how the state defines a street gang and eliminates probation eligibility for second-degree murder and some dangerous felonies if a person has a past conviction. 

Parson said the main component of the bill was the modification to the offense of conspiracy. Under SB 600, prosecutors can charge people with both conspiracy to commit a crime and the criminal act itself. Sentences for both crimes would be served one after the other.

“Under current law, a person cannot be convicted of an offense based upon a conspiracy to commit the offense unless he or she committed an overt act,” Parson said in a news release after his 3 p.m. press conference. “SB 600 independently criminalizes an agreement to commit a criminal offense, allowing law enforcement and prosecutors to hold individuals who plan criminal enterprises accountable.

The bill has been criticized, however, for both its potential cost and effectiveness. In June, several advocacy groups sent a letter to Parson urging him to veto the bill.

"Locking up more people does not result in safer neighborhoods, but rather harms taxpayers and needlessly rips families and communities apart," Jeremy Cady, the director of Americans for Prosperity—Missouri, said in a statement Monday. "We urge Governor Parson to embrace smart-on-crime policies that increase justice and compassion in our criminal justice system and are proven to reduce crime.”

The bill will also have a “significant fiscal impact” once fully enacted, according to a fiscal statement accompanying the bill that was released in June. The bill will bring with it about $580,663 in costs from the state’s general revenue fund during fiscal 2021.

The law will lead to an increase of about 821 people in prison and 269 more people under supervision by fiscal 2030, according to the fiscal note.

The long-term impacts of the bill are much more stark, as the Missouri Department of Corrections estimated in the fiscal note that the prison population could increase by 2,500 in 18 years due to longer sentences.

Reducing Missouri's prison population has been a priority for Parson in the past. In 2019, he announced that the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Cameron would close, saying he did not want to build more prisons in Missouri.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, also condemned the move.

“As people across Missouri and the nation demand criminal justice reform, the governor instead is embracing the same failed approach that too often produces unjust results, over-incarcerates Black men and does nothing to keep us safe," Quade said in a statement. "By supporting Senate Bill 600, the governor guarantees that the inequities in the system will get worse, and the protests for justice will continue.”

Despite the criticism, others believe SB 600 will be an effective tool to ensure public safety. In June, Missouri prosecutors and law enforcement organizations sent a letter to Parson in support of the legislation.

"Simply stated, Senate Bill 600 will protect Missourians from the most dangerous and violent criminals in our state," the letter said. "It will not fill our prisons with low-level, nonviolent offenders — because it's provisions only address violent and serious offenses."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - After school programs have to make adjustments because of the Columbia school board’s vote to delay the start... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 3:31:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Monday crash in Jefferson City damaged three parked vehicles and injured the driver. Curtis Murrell... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:18:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 confirmed on the scene of the incident a man was shot on Tuesday at the Columbia... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 7:22:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia mayor Brian Treece called on college students to make smart choices when returning to campus. "I... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:58:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou superfan Brian Garner has accumulated hundreds of coaches and players' signatures on his prosthetic leg. He hasn't... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The news conference is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., according to Trump. More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:26:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Public school administrators discussed, Tuesday afternoon, the district's reopening plans, as student prepare for the start of... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:16:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — In a new briefing Tuesday afternoon, Columbia police asked the public for information on two separate early-morning incidents.... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:53:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The parking lot at Tolton Catholic High School will fill up two weeks before Columbia Public Schools. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- [Breaking news update, published at 4:40 p.m. ET] The Pac-12 Conference CEO Group unanimously voted Tuesday to... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden has chosen California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. It’s a move... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:23:39 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A news conference staged Tuesday put mourners and activists in front of cameras to call on Governor... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:02:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City School Board has agreed to sell the former Simonsen Ninth Grade Center building to... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 2:17:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 2:09:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling awarding damages to a woman injured when her... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 1:37:53 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
The COVID-19 pandemic has made access to mental health resources difficult, and for children with impulse control disorders, the changes... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 9:50:00 AM CDT August 11, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — A home invasion in north Columbia sent one woman to the hospital early Tuesday morning. CPD Detective... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 6:21:00 AM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
9am 75°
10am 78°
11am 81°
12pm 83°