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State senator looking to pass bill after Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner's murder

Sen. Larry Stutts is confident he can pass a bill that says even those who take a plea bargain for a lesser sentence will be required to serve their entire sentence.

Posted: Dec 8, 2021 6:29 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2021 7:07 PM

The shooting death of Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner is giving rise to proposed new state laws.

One of them is from a state senator in Colbert County and aims to make sure people like capital murder suspect Brian Martin serve their full sentence. Martin had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter but was finished his sentence early due to “good time” accrued while behind bars.

Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner with K-9 Officer Wiske

Had he been required to serve the full sentence, he would have still been behind bars when the murders occurred.  

Larry Stutts, a state senator in Sheffield, has supreme confidence that he can pass a bill that would require even those who take a plea bargain for a lesser sentence to serve the entire sentence.

All of this is a response to the shooting of Risner. Stutts said it is unfortunate that it took a tragedy for this bill to be written and eventually proposed.

"To me, it’s just common sense," Stutts said. "It is something that should’ve been done a long time ago. The bill that is currently on the books — the law that’s currently on the books — for calculating that reduced sentence has been there for a long time, and it is just time to fix it."

The current bill saw Risner’s accused killer get out early after pleading guilty in his father's death.

"This individual was out of prison over six years sooner than he should have been," said Stutts.

Stutts also believes the current bill isn't strict enough on keeping inmates in prison.

"They make it easier to get out of prison," he said. "The misconception that a lot of people have is that there are a lot of people in the prison right now for real minor offenses, and that is just not the case."

Stutts said statistically, 82% of the people currently in prison are there for violent offenses.

"There are three reasons I would say for someone to go to prison: One is to protect the law abiding citizen. No. 2 is to the punish the criminal. No. 3 is to rehabilitate the criminal if possible."

Under his new bill, Stutts is certain that people like Risner's accused killer will be unable to further endanger law-abiding citizens.

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