Senate Passes Bill to Increase Prison Sentences for Persistent Violent Offenders

Dean G. Skelos

April 17, 2012

“Three Strikes and You’re In”


The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would keep the most dangerous, violent, repeat criminals behind bars and out of our communities.


The bill (S.1539), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-C, Rockville Centre),  requires persistent violent felony offenders be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.  This bill recognizes that persistent violent offenders are most likely to commit violent crimes again and would ensure that violent, recidivist criminals are permanently prevented from posing a danger to society.


 “It is outrageous that persistent violent felons are released back into our neighborhoods to present a danger to our citizens,” Senator Skelos said.  “This bill would protect our communities from career criminals who belong in jail not out on the street.”


Persistent violent felony offenders are those who have been convicted on at least two previous and separate occasions of violent felony offenses such as: kidnapping, rape or sodomy, robbery, burglary, assault or aggravated sexual abuse.  The offenses must have been committed within a ten year period, not including periods of incarceration, for the three strikes penalty to be imposed.


More than half of the states in the country, along with Washington D.C., have some form of habitual offender laws such as this to combat persistent violent criminals.


The bill was sent to the Assembly.