Tennessee legislators propose escalating penalties for street racers, turning it into a felony

Currently, if someone is caught by the police, it is considered a misdemeanor offense. However, Representative John Gillespie (R-Shelby County) aims to elevate the severity of this offense to a Class E felony. This would mean that the penalty could range from one to six years of imprisonment.

“This illicit behavior must be addressed,” expressed Gillespie, emphasizing the urgency of the situation. “Regrettably, this problem persists and continues to claim lives.”

The question arises: does longer sentences effectively deter individuals from engaging in illegal activities?

According to Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville), the answer is no.

“I believe that imposing an additional penalty will not be effective in making a significant difference. There are alternative approaches that can be taken to address this issue,” she expressed her opinion.

According to Johnson, if the ultimate goal is to minimize injuries and fatalities, then longer prison sentences should be imposed. “I fail to comprehend why an additional punishment would be given to individuals who are already facing charges for the crimes they have committed,” Johnson expressed.

However, she stood out among her fellow lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee as the sole individual who opposed the bill. While everyone else was in favor of it, she was the only one who had reservations and chose to hit the brakes.

The bill still has to go through several more steps before it can be voted on by the entire Tennessee House.

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An Arizona journalist sheds light on the outcomes of vouchers as Tennessee considers implementing a similar system.

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As a mom with two boys in elementary school, I am deeply invested in understanding the school voucher debate. Arizona, being the first state in the nation to offer universal school vouchers, implemented its program 13 years ago. Now, Governor Lee is proposing a similar initiative in Tennessee within the next two years. To gain a comprehensive understanding of this issue, I sought the expertise of an investigative reporter based in Arizona. Her thorough analysis provided me with facts, figures, and valuable insights. As both a mom and a taxpayer, this reporting has given me much to ponder upon. I believe it will do the same for you.

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