GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss (WCBI) - You can get into a fight with someone on the street causing bodily harm and receive the same sentence as someone that’s attempted to kill a person. Chief David Lindley of the Starkville Police Department tells us victims of those type of crimes ask for more.
“Mississippi does not have an attempted murder law and over the years we’ve often been approached by the family of victims and the victims themselves questioning that the charge we currently use is aggravated assault. And aggravated assault usually falls under the category anything short of the victim actually dying,” says Chief David Lindley.
The maximum sentence for aggravated assault is 20 years in prison. District Attorney Forrest Allgood says Mississippi does have an attempt to commit an offense statute on the books. By that law, the time does not match the crime.
“If they were charged with attempted murder then the maximum sentence would be 10 years however there’s another charging option and that would be aggravated assault…in those type of circumstances you see people being charged with aggravated assault instead of attempted murder,” says Forrest Allgood.
Mississippi House Bill 1340, which would have implemented an attempted murder statute, died in the House in March of 2011. That, however, does not mean the issue will not be addressed when lawmakers reconvene for the 2013 legislative session.>
Representative Bill Denny, a Republican from Jackson proposed Mississippi House Bill 1340 that would have made the attempted murder conviction carry a twenty years to life sentence.