Senator Flanagan Supports Legislation To Keep Violent Felons Off The Streets

John J. Flanagan

April 25, 2012

In an effort to keep the most dangerous criminals off the streets of New York State, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) has announced that he recently voted to support legislation (S.1539) that would require life imprisonment without parole for persistent violent felony offenders who are convicted three times.

Information from the New York State Department of Correctional Services reveals that persistent violent felony offenders are currently incarcerated for an average of only nine years.  The legislation that Senator Flanagan supports, which was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (9th Senate District), recognizes that persistent violent offenders are most likely to commit violent crimes again and would help ensure that violent, recidivist criminals are permanently prevented from posing a danger to society.

To qualify for the “Three Strikes And You’re In”, a criminal’s offenses must have been committed within a ten year period, not including any periods of incarceration.  According to the legislation, 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.

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 for further action.

“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.”

“This legislation will keep our streets safer while giving the public greater peace of mind.  To continue to allow those who are the most dangerous and who have proven that they are unable to respect the rights of others back on the streets of our state makes absolutely no sense.  I urge the Assembly to join with us in enacting this bill into law,” stated Senator Flanagan.