Less Jail Time For NC Habitual Felons?
Is North Carolina too hard on habitual felons? Yes, says Asheville area lawmaker Phillip Haire who says the law takes low grade felons and punishes them too hard. Not so say courtroom advocates like the founder of Court Watch Marcus Philemon who says "breaking and entering is what he considers lowest on the totem pole as far as felons go, you ask anybody who has had their house broken into, their home ransacked..."
The lower level felonies include theft, possession of stolen goods and solicitation of a minor by computer for sex and showing up to meet them. But representative Haire maintains lower level felons should not be given the extra jail time of a habitual felon. He also wants to amend the law by redefining it to crimes committed within 15 years of the first felony and says "where these folks would normally not have gotten more than 18 months or two years now suddenly they're getting six, seven or eight years and it's a tremendous burden on society to keep these people in there for minor offenses."
Philemon says "maybe he needs to look up justice then maybe start implementing a bill based on justice and what his constituents want instead of what he wants because it's not justice." Court Watch member Teresa Gitomer adds, "breaking into my home is a violent crime and if they have done that three times they should be with the hardened criminals."
Ofcourse this bill is now in committee and a long ways from affecting anything inside a courthouse but the sponsor says he is trying to improve the system, courtroom advocates say they agree the system needs to be improved, just not with the proposed change in the habitual felon law.