(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) has asked State Rep. Lowell Russell (R-Vonore) to serve as co-prime sponsor of truth in sentencing legislation as it travels through the committee process in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
Part of Speaker Sexton’s legislative package for 2021, House Bill 1047 requires any person convicted of serious offenses that historically target women and children to serve their full sentencing term as assigned to them by a jury or judge.
“This legislation sends a strong message to the worst of the worst that if you commit these crimes in Tennessee, you will serve the maximum sentence behind bars,” said Speaker Sexton. “With his extensive experience in law enforcement, I know Rep. Russell will do a great job guiding this legislation through the House of Representatives; I appreciate his commitment and his partnership on this important issue.”
While House Bill 1047 does not remove judicial discretion, it ensures that parole or probation are not options for those found guilty of crimes that fall into these categories of offenses. This legislation also strengthens protections for victims and their families by ensuring offenders serve their full sentence.
“I appreciate the trust that Speaker Sexton has placed in me to serve as co-prime sponsor of this truth in sentencing legislation,” said Rep. Russell. “This criminal justice reform measure ensures we hold our worst offenders accountable for their despicable actions. I look forward to the work ahead in getting this legislation passed in the House later this year.”
House Bill 1047 advanced out of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week. For more information, please click here.
Lowell Russell is Vice Chair of the House Calendar & Rules Committee. He is also a member of the House Criminal Justice and Transportation Committees, the House Criminal Justice and Transportation Subcommittees, and the Select Ethics Committee. Russell resides in Vonore and represents Tennessee House District 21, which includes portions of Loudon and Monroe Counties.