02/21/19 -- HB 113 -- Allows the court to depart from minimum sentencing provisions

Bill Number: 
HB 113
Bill Purpose: 
Allows the court to depart from minimum sentencing provisions
Date of Vote: 
02/21/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HB 113, introduced by Representative Cody Smith (Republican - District 163) allows the court to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing requirements in cases where the crime does not involve violence or a sexual offense against a minor.  While I would have liked the bill to go a bit further than it does, but it's a great improvement on our current system.  Mandatory minimums take away the court's ability to look at the totality of the circumstances of a crime when they enter a sentence, and the result is very often unjust.

The trend of mandatory minimums that was so prevalent in the 80's and 90's is finally starting to reverse, with more and more jurisdictions toning down or rescinding them.   I am pleased that HB 113 helps to move Missouri in the right direction in this area, and so I was pleased to vote yes.  Luckily, it passed quite easily.