SANFORD CITY COUNCIL: Resolution in support of mandatory sentencing tabled

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

A resolution in support of mandatory sentencing for felonies committed with a firearm was tabled indefinitely Tuesday during the Sanford City Council meeting.

Councilman Charles Taylor, who originally pushed for a local resolution that would support statewide legislation for a 10-year mandatory sentencing for a second felony committed with a firearm, tabled the resolution after references to a subsequent felony with a firearm was struck from the resolution.

Taylor, who said he had spent more than 50 hours working with various state legislative leaders and organizations on mandatory sentencing, said he tabled it because there are other municipalities that will take action on the resolution to be sent to the legislature. Altering the resolution, he said, would lead to confusion and the N.C. General Assembly sticking the bill in a committee to die.

"We have essentially killed this bill today," Taylor said. "We, at the end of the day, we have to account for it."

During the Sanford City Council Law and Finance Committee meeting last week, several council members asked that the reference to a second felony be struck from the resolution. Taylor requested the second reference be put back into the resolution Tuesday night because he said it would have more support in the General Assembly.

Councilman Samuel Gaskins requested Taylor's amendments be separated, leading to some confusion by council members. After a brief recess for Sanford Attorney Susan Patterson to speak to each council member about the changes and outline the changes— proposed by Taylor — in the resolution, there was still confusion during the voting process. It was at this point Taylor requested the resolution be tabled.

Gaskins said he wanted reference to the second offense left off the resolution because he didn't "want to give anyone a second chance to kill someone."