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Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

Michigan Prosecutor Pressing for Passage of Violent Offender Sentencing Bill

May 14, 2012
Attorney General Bill Schuette has appeared before the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee regarding his proposal to take repeat violent offenders off the streets with the VO-4 plan to create a minimum 25-year sentence for violent criminals who have committed four felonies. Schuette was joined at the committee hearing by Detroit Police Officer Arthur Matthews, former Livonia Police Chief Robert Stevenson, Barry County Prosecutor Tom Evans, Saginaw County Prosecutor Mike Thomas and representatives from the Police Officers Association of Michigan, Fraternal Order of Police and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. "The first step toward breaking the cycle of crime is to remove the most violent repeat offenders from our streets," said Schuette. "A disproportionate percentage of crime is committed by a small group of hardened criminals. The VO-4 sentencing reform gives law enforcement an important tool to stop the worst of the worst from repeatedly threatening our communities and undermining public safety." Senate Bill 1109, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, would implement the VO-4 (Violent Offense-Fourth Felony) sentencing reform by strengthening Michigan's Habitualization Law. The legislation targets the worst repeat violent offenders by establishing a minimum prison sentence of at least 25 years for criminals convicted of a serious violent crime after already being convicted of any three prior felony convictions.