DA’s office handcuffed by criminal reform


Winston/Marion District Attorney Scott Slatton explains some of the guidelines his office is mandated to follow when it comes to sentencing criminals.

DOUBLE SPRINGS  -  A mandatory scorecard kept on criminal defendants is just one of the ways district attorneys are handcuffed by mandates, showing a desperate need for criminal sentencing reform.
That message was presented in detail by Scott Slatton, district attorney for Winston and Marion counties, when he addressed county officials and residents at the courthouse in Double Springs Monday, April 12.
“In Montgomery right now, there’s a battle between Republicans and Democrats alike against law and order,” Slatton began.
“Over the last two months,  we’ve seen an erosion of law and order in Alabama. We’ve seen a slow erosion that has happened over the last 20 years that has  been ramped up, with what we have seen in national news over the last 18 months,” Slatton pointed out.
At the beginning of the previous legislative session, at least 900 bills were filed concerning criminal law and criminal law reform, the DA stated.
About 20 years ago, an agreement was made in Montgomery in the name of tax dollars and public spending, that put future public safety in a bad place, Slatton stated.
“It took discretion away from district attorneys and judges in sentencing criminals,” Slatton pointed out.
This resulted in the formation of the Alabama Sentencing Commission, which compiled a booklet listing drug offenses, theft and personal offenses such as assault, manslaughter and murder.
“It a third grade worksheet,” Slatton noted.

 


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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