The Iowa Senate this week approved a sentencing reform bill that gives judges more say in how long a criminal should stay behind bars, but the bill will not be considered in the Iowa House. Representative Chuck Larson, a republican from Cedar Rapids, says the reforms go too far. He says this bill would destroy “truth in sentencing.” Larson says current sentencing guidelines make sense. He says Iowa is the ninth lowest incarcerating state in the nation. Larson calls the changes dangerous for the public.But Senator Andy McKean, a republican from Anamosa, says judges need more discretion in some cases. He says there are some cases in which some flexibility is called for. He says there are over 400 people serving over 85-percent of their sentences. He says some of those pose not threat to society and their cases should be reviewed.For the second year in a row, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the sentencing reforms, and, for the second year in a row, Larson is using his status as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to kill the bill.
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