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Community Meeting Focuses On Sentencing For Criminals

Reported: Apr. 17, 2014 10:06 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 17, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
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ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (Taisha Walker) -- People in the St. Albans community came together Thursday night to discuss creative sentencing for criminals.

It was part of an effort by one neighborhood watch group to keep drug dealers out of their area.

The small group met at St. Albans High School to sign a petition aimed at 13th Circuit Court judges.

Community members said judges aren't giving drug dealers harsh enough sentences, which allows them to keep selling drugs.

Ward 4 resident Joseph Higginbotham said almost all of the crimes in his city are drug-related in some way.

He's suggesting circuit court judges consider more creative sentencing.

"We want them to stop using full prisons as an excuse to not sentence these guys to something,” he said. “Sentence them to go out and clean up the streets, sentence them to do some form of community service."

Higginbotham said he doesn't have a specific deadline for the petition or number of signatures in mind, but he does plan to eventually hand the signatures over to the Kanawha County Circuit Court’s judges.



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