Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Filler sounds the alarm on plan to release violent criminals decades early
RELEASE|March 19, 2024
Contact: Graham Filler

Legislation debated in a House committee today would release murderers and other violent criminals from prison

State Rep. Graham Filler on Tuesday spoke out against a plan to allow murderers, rapists, and child sex offenders to receive new shorter prison sentences and early parole.

Filler, who serves as the minority vice chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee, opposes the package of five bills debated in committee Tuesday. This plan, also called “Second Look,” would allow roughly half of Michigan’s prison population to eventually file for new shorter sentences after serving only 10 years in prison, including people convicted of heinous crimes that carry much longer mandatory minimum sentences.

“The last thing we need is a new plan to make our communities less safe and force crime victims to relive their most traumatic experiences,” said Filler, who served seven years as an assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan before running for office. “The one solace victims of violent crimes have is knowing they are safe as long as the person who hurt them stays behind bars. Suddenly releasing thousands of these offenders back onto our streets will put these innocent people through hell while making the rest of us live on edge. Sometimes I have to wonder who we’re trying to serve at the state Capitol.”

House Bills 4556-4560 would allow nearly half of the state’s prison population, including those sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, to request a shorter sentence after serving only 10 years. The decision is based on new standards that include “the interest of justice” and take prisoners’ health conditions like asthma and diabetes into account. Thousands of murderers, sexual offenders and child abusers could be released early under this plan.

“The focus of these bills is clearly to improve the lives of Michigan’s worst criminals, not to make our state safer,” Filler said. “A lot of thought has been put into Michigan’s sentencing laws over the years to make sure our most dangerous criminals stay behind bars for at least a set minimum number of years. But this plan would undo those long-standing laws and tilt everything in favor of the criminals and against the rest of us. That’s not how our criminal justice system is supposed to work.”

The legislation did not receive a vote in committee Tuesday but could next come up for a vote as soon as April 23.

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