House Passes Tougher Repeat Offender Laws

House Judiciary Chair Eugene O’Flaherty joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation that modifies current law governing cases of repeat criminal offenders – bringing habitual criminals to justice and ensuring the security of our Commonwealth.

“With the passage of this legislation, the House has insured that repeat violent recidivists will remain in custody and won’t harm the public any further,” said Rep. O’Flaherty. “The Speaker insisted the House address threats to public safety and House members agreed with him that this was a top priority,”

Under this new legislation, habitual offenders would have to serve 2/3 of their sentence, rather than half, before becoming eligible for parole. Habitual offenders sentenced under any major crimes indicated would not be eligible for parole, work release or furlough, nor would their sentence be eligible for reduction or suspension.

Furthermore, habitual offender status is realized when an offender, after being convicted of any two major crimes, is convicted of a third major crime. Major crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, child enticement, kidnapping, and others. The offender would be ineligible for parole upon conviction of a third offense and be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for the maximum term provided by law.

The legislation also indicates that a sentence imposed under this section shall run from and after any sentence that the defendant is serving at the time of sentencing.

No person shall be considered a habitual offender based upon any offense for which such person was adjudicated a delinquent child.

“We cannot allow habitual offenders to terrorize and victimize our friends, loved ones and public servants,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) said. “This legislation represents a powerful deterrent to those who would commit crime repeatedly.”

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