State DA's pushing for tougher sentencing in 2012 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

State DA's pushing for tougher sentencing in 2012

In just one week, lawmakers from across the state will meet in Nashville to begin this year's legislative session. And if local district attorneys get their way, crooks will see increased jail time. In just one week, lawmakers from across the state will meet in Nashville to begin this year's legislative session. And if local district attorneys get their way, crooks will see increased jail time.

(WMC-TV) - In just one week, lawmakers from across the state will meet in Nashville to begin this year's legislative session. 

And if local district attorneys get their way, there'll be some increased jail time for those who don't abide by the law.

Lawmakers want to send a strong message to law breakers that violent crime will simply not be tolerated.

"Violent crime numbers according to FBI statistics are down in Tennessee but I know it seems like each week, there are more and more shocking violent crimes with guns, sex offenses, kidnappings, and murder," says West Tennessee District Attorney Mike Dunavant.

Mike Dunavant and other Tennessee DA's are working with state legislators to combat crime.

At the top of their priority list, synthetic and prescription drug abuse.

"We know that bath salts, plant food, synthetic marijuana is having a devastating effect on the health and safety of our young people," Dunavant continues.

Local DA's will work with the state legislature this upcoming session to increase jail time for those stores who sell bath salts. 

In addition, Dunavant adds, a closer look at "doctor shopping" and prescription drug abuse fraud.

"We want to regulate the way prescriptions are filled in such a way that we can monitor a prescription database so law enforcement can see who's getting what pills, legally or illegally, what doctors may be over-prescribing them," he adds.

State district attorneys will also lobby legislators for increased jail time for convicted felons who own and carry firearms.

They will also focus on increased penalties for targeted gang crime.

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