Pa. lawmakers want tougher penalties for certain crimes

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Republican state lawmakers gathered on the steps of the Lancaster County Courthouse on Friday to unveil a package of bills that would increase prison time for certain crimes.

One proposal would set a minimum sentence of five years in prison for first-time burglary convictions and at least 10 years behind bars for repeat offenders.

Another measure would create a so-called “intermediate charge” of assault for serious but non-life threatening injuries.

A third bill, which would set a minimum mandatory sentence for those convicted of crimes such as child sexual assault, has the support of Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman.

“When I think about it, I cannot believe I have to stand here and advocate for the return of tough and certain sentences for child rape,” Stedman said. “Our appellate court has forced us backwards in one of the most serious and important areas of criminal justice.”

Lawmakers are gathering co-sponsors and say they have bipartisan support.

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