Lt. Governor Candidates on Crime Prevention - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Statewide 10/09/07

Lt. Governor Candidates on Crime Prevention

Phil Bryant Phil Bryant
Jamie Franks Jamie Franks

Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Phil Bryant, unveiled his plan to get tough on crime at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

One part of that plan includes an automatic life sentence for drug manufacturers and dealers. Joined by local law enforcement officials and newly elected Madison and Rankin County District Attorney Michael Guest, Bryant says it's time Mississippi stopped going easy on drug dealers.

If a drug dealer is convicted a second time, that person will go to prison for the rest of his or her life under Bryant's new plan. He believes this will not only be a deterrent against drugs, but other crime as well.

He says, "The shootings that you see in the city of Jackson, I can assure you, talk to any law enforcement officer will say 85 to 90% of those are drug related. They're drug deals gone bad, somebody's high on crack and they get mad and they're killing each other. To me building more prisons in more important than having 5 more men get killed in downtown Jackson."

His opponent for Lieutenant Governor, Democratic State Representative Jamie Franks says, "I find it quit mind-boggling that a guy that has never introduced any of these crime fighting measures before comes out and says 'let's do this' - four weeks till election."

Franks calls Bryant's plan nothing new, and says he has passed crime legislation that is now law in his time as a state representative.

Bryant's plan also calls for doubling the penalties for crimes against children and the elderly. Also, juvenile sex offenders would be charged as adults. Franks favors increasing the number of prisons to hold criminals, as does Bryant.

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