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Back Local News McCreadie bill stiffens penalties against violent habitual offenders

McCreadie bill stiffens penalties against violent habitual offenders

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SEN. Brant McCreadie has introduced Bill 107-32, a measure introducing a habitual offender statute into current law which sets a mandatory life sentence for those who have been previously convicted of any violent or aggravated felony, not committed on the same occasion and separated by intervening arrests.

If the bill becomes law, the habitual offender statute recommends that sentencing not be suspended, nor shall the offender be eligible for probation or parole.

Also known as a "two strikes and you're out" bill, the measure has been gaining bipartisan support at the Legislature due to the sharp increase in violent and serious crimes, which are committed again and again by persons previously convicted of other serious crimes.

These habitual offenders, according to the bill, have shown that rehabilitation for these criminals is not an option. As such, it is in the people’s best interest for habitual offenders to be incarcerated for a significant period of time.

McCreadie said it is “absolutely time” to fight crime with punishment. He also believes this is not the time for island leaders to start pointing fingers at one another.

A release from the senator’s office stressed that “this is the time for all branches of government to work together and work closer than ever to ensure the safety of our community and our most vulnerable members of society – women, children, senior citizens, and disabled individuals.”

For the penalties to apply, judgment for the aggravated or violent felony that comprises the prior conviction should have been entered within 15 years of the conviction for the current offense.

However, time spent in custody or on probation for an offense or while the person is an absconder shall not be excluded from the calculation of the 15 years.

Co-sponsoring the bill are Sens. Michael San Nicolas, Dennis Rodriguez Jr., Tina Muña-Barnes, Anthony Ada, and Michael Limtiaco.

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