Guam -Senator Brant McCreadie has proposed amendments to his “Two-Strikes and Your Our Out” proposal following a public hearing Thursday morning at which the Guam legal community criticised the measure because if would tie the hands of Judges.
Bill #107 would set a mandatory life in prison sentence for anyone convicted a second time of committing a violent or aggravated felony. It would not allow for a suspended sentence or probation.
But the islands legal community argued against the proposal saying it would remove the discretion that Judges currently have to imposes sentences that fit the crime and it would overwhelm an already overcrowded prison system.
McCreadie says in light of the testimony he heard at the public hearing he has decided to propose several amendments “to improve the bill.”
“While the term of life imprisonment remains,” the Senator says that he has “removed several of the offenses, such as negligent burning … so that the punishment set in the bill is commensurate with the offenses.”
However McCreadie maintains that the intent of the Bill is the same, “If implemented into law, Bill 107,” the Senator believes “has the potential to keep our most violent repeat offenders out of the community and inside our prison.”
READ Senator McCreadie’s release below:
Senator McCreadie submits amendments to “Two Strikes” bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2013
The following is a statement from Senator Brant McCreadie regarding yesterday’s public hearing for Bill 107-32:
“Yesterday’s hearing on Bill 107, which institutes a ‘two strikes’ provision for habitual offenders, certainly shed light on many of the economic, social and governmental issues facing our criminal justice system. The testimonies from prosecutors, defense attorneys and most importantly victims have provided me with guidance to improve the bill.
As such, based on input from the Attorney General’s Office and the testimony yesterday, I drafted and submitted for consideration by the Committee on the Guam US Military Relocation, Homeland Security, Veteran’s Affairs and Judiciary several amendments to Bill 107 in an attempt to find a more balanced approach at instituting this ‘two strikes’ provision. While the term of life imprisonment remains, I removed several of the offenses, such as negligent burning for example, so that the punishment set in the bill is commensurate with the offenses. If implemented into law, Bill 107 has the potential to keep our most violent repeat offenders out of the community and inside our prison.
This isn’t the final solution to the crime problem, but it is a first and significant step. Bill 107 is a message to violent, repeat offenders that their behavior will no longer be tolerated. I will continue to introduce legislation aimed at reducing crime and improving the condition of our public safety agencies.”