Tennessee’s new law on armed robbery, or as it is defined in Tennessee, aggravated robbery goes into effect today.  The only change in the law is the punishment.  A conviction of aggravated robbery carries a range of imprisonment of 8 – 12 years as a standard range I offender.  A person must serve at least 70% of the sentence before the defendant is eligible for parole.

NASHVILLE — Legislation that requires people convicted of armed robbery to serve most of their sentences in prison is among a number of measures that will become law July 1.

The measure would increase the minimum time served for aggravated robbery with a weapon from 30 percent of the sentence to 70 percent.

Supporters have said the change would mean offenders would serve at least six years, up from the current minimum of about 2½ years. The law would pay for the longer prison time by transferring sentences for first-time convictions for 19 nonviolent felonies to community corrections programs.

The measure was supported by the state’s police chiefs and by prosecutors.

House Minority Leader Gary Odom, a Nashville Democrat and sponsor of the measure, said the “law is smart on crime.”

“It makes certain that our limited number of jail cells will be available to house our most violent criminals,” he said. “It will save lives because it more than doubles the minimum sentence for armed robbery.”

This is an excerpt from the Times News article on Tennessee’s new laws.