Christmas crime spree suspect released from jail early on 'good behavior'

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The man who led police on a wild car chase on Christmas Day should've still been behind bars.

Ray Burns faces a slew of new charges including carjacking, aggravated robbery, and aggravated kidnapping.

But just a month before his crime spree, other criminal charges against Burns were dropped because the victims did not show up for court.

Burns was also released from prison in September 2016. In 2011 he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for a carjacking in Shelby County. He didn't have to serve all 8 years thanks to pre-trial credit and good behavior.

"There are far too many offenders that have not gotten that message," Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said. "They continue to harm, they continue to hurt, and it's very frustrating."

Weirich, like many other prosecutors in America, is an advocate of so-called truth in sentencing laws. Truth-in-sentencing refers to changing rules that allow convicted criminals out of jail before their sentence is complete.

Recently, Weirich said the man who killed Harbor Town resident Susan Grissom would also have been behind bars and unable to commit his crime.

Weirich said Tennessee laws are designed to rehabilitate offenders and look toward probation, but she thinks repeat criminals should not get second chances.

"We need to make sure as a DA's office, criminal justice system, that you are being held accountable and sentenced to the absolute max we can give under the law."

If Burns had been in prison for the full 8 years, he wouldn't have gotten out until April of 2019--a full year and four months after he went on his Christmas Day crime spree.

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