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Realtor's murder sparks debate over issues with Arkansas parole system | Crime

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Realtor's murder sparks debate over issues with Arkansas parole system
Crime, News, Politics
Realtor's murder sparks debate over issues with Arkansas parole system

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Beverly Carter's murder has renewed the debate over the state of Arkansas' parole system.

Her accused killer, Arron Lewis, was on parole and is not the first Arkansas parolee to be accused of murder in the last couple years.

The state Department of Community Correction today told THV11 Lewis was a "pretty good parolee", reporteing to his parole officer regularly, passing all his drug tests and paying all his fees. Some say that is even more reason to tighten the state's parole laws.

"This is not the first time in the state of Arkansas that we've had a parolee that's actually murdered a citizen in our state," said republican state Senator Jason Rapert of Conway. "This is a person that, had he been in prison serving time for the full sentences that he had been given, he would not have been back out on the street and would not have been able to commit this heinous act."

Rapert took to Twitter Tuesday frustrated with what he called another failure in the state's parole system saying "stop turning these thugs out of prison!!!".

"Why even render a sentence if you're not going to serve out the sentence? So, in my opinion, we can stop this quickly: stop the revolving door," said Rapert. "When a person is sentenced for committing a criminal act they should serve every day, every hour and every minute of that sentence that they get."

"As long as you're putting people out on the street who are, in fact, dangerous, who have a propensity toward violence, you're setting yourself up for disaster," added state senator David Sanders, who has worked for years on reforming the state's parole system. "We'll have parole board officials, I think, sitting in front of lawmakers responding to deep, penetrating questions that goes to the heart of what they do or, better, what they haven't done."

"I want Arkansas to be the toughest place in America for someone to commit a crime because we don't want them on our streets, and we don't want them preying on our people either," said Rapert. "The state of Arizona puts up tents. Arkansas can figure out a way to keep these people. We have got empty school buildings all around this state that could easily be retrofitted, put up a fence, put people in charge of them and put those criminals in there and keep them off of our streets."

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