The Truth in Sentencing

Justice comes in many ways to Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska, and someone who avoids an execution through appeals frustrates him just as much as someone who gets out of prison early.

The answer? It may come in what is called truth in sentencing.

It’s an issue alive and well in criminal cases when inmates get out on parole early, the concept broadens to include issues such as jail overcrowding, and leniency on non-violent offenders to make room for the dangerous ones.

Valeska, a long-time advocate, says truth in sentencing also relates to capital punishment.

Valeska says the truth will have to come from the federal level, where more judges need to speed up the appeals process. Until then, the district attorney can only keep fighting.

Currently, there are nearly 4,000 people on death row in the United States and the state of Alabama has roughly 200.