Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Prestin: Democrats unveil ‘Resentence & Release’ plan that would empty prisons, send victims into hiding
RELEASE|April 11, 2024
Contact: David Prestin

State Rep. Dave Prestin on Thursday spoke out against a plan to allow the most violent offenders to reduce their prison sentences. In a 90-minute hearing, the committee chair only allowed nine minutes of testimony from opponents of the bill, none of whom were crime victims — even though numerous victims attended the meeting in order to testify.

“This sickening plan is nothing more than an attempt to resentence and release rapists, killers, and pedophiles,” said Prestin, R-Cedar River. “I don’t care how much rehabilitation a violent criminal pretends they’ve done over ten years. They’re in prison for a reason. Criminals do not deserve to be coddled as though they’re the victims. Somewhere is a son without a father and a woman who still deals with irreversible trauma from crimes committed decades ago. The responsibility of the justice system is to deliver justice for victims and their families, not to cater to people trying to downplay their violent crimes as mistakes deserving wholesale reconsideration.”

House Bills 4556-4560 would allow almost all convicted criminals, including those sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, to request a shorter sentence after serving only 10 years in prison. New prison terms can even be shorter than a crime’s mandatory minimum sentence required by law. Even if a request is denied, a criminal can continue requesting a lower sentence every two to five years, forcing victims and victims’ family members to relive their trauma each time they testify against the perpetrator.

“It is absolutely evil to suggest victims should have to relive heinous crimes each year while violent criminals seek an early release,” Prestin said. “Putting criminals back on the street will make our communities less safe and put regular people at unnecessary risk. No one is even considering the devasting impact this plan would have on our prisons. Corrections officers could face mass layoffs if the state drastically reduces prison populations by releasing violent criminals.”

The bills are so extreme that only people convicted of a narrowly defined “mass shooting offense” are not eligible to try to get out of prison early.

Prestin noted the bills would allow more than 7,450 murderers, 3,700 people convicted of criminal sexual conduct, and 1,800 armed robbers to seek a lower sentence after 10 years in prison. Prisoners serving life sentences make up over one-third of those eligible for release under the proposal. More than 5,100 murderers would be immediately eligible to request a lower sentence.

In counties represented by Rep. Prestin, more than 50 criminals convicted of murder or criminal sexual conduct would be eligible for early release. Newberry Correctional Facility in Luce County would also be affected by the plan; despite the prison serving as a level one facility and not having any prisoners serving life sentences, nearly 10 percent of the more than 1,000 prisoners would be eligible for early release under the resentence and release plan.

“Have Democrats seriously veered so far to the left that they’ve forgotten victims’ rights?” asked Prestin. “Nowhere is there any consideration for the people these criminals hurt, the communities they would threaten, or the potential destabilization to our corrections facilities that would come as a result of this plan.”


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