South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

State Senate passes Costa burglary bill

 


The state Senate unanimously approved a Bill sponsored by State Sen. Jay Costa, Jr. (D-Allegheny) that would assure that sentencing courts could impose the toughest possible penalties for burglary and home invasion.

“This legislation validates tougher sentencing provisions in the state's burglary law and assures that the standard ties into Pennsylvania's Three Strikes Law,” Sen. Costa said. “With the rising threat of home invasion-type crimes, this measure would prevent criminals from getting easier sentences due to a technicality.”

Mr. Costa said his bill, Senate Bill 121, would correct an inconsistency in how the state's burglary and “Three Strikes” laws treat burglary in instances such as a home invasion when the victim is present.

Currently under the burglary law, the offense is treated as a first-degree felony whether the victim is there or not. While the Three Strikes Law only applies to burglary if the victim is present at the time the crime is committed.

Sen. Costa also introduced this legislation during the last legislative session. The final version of the bill was passed by the Senate, but did not come up for a vote in the House before the legislative session ended.

Mr. Costa, a member of the state Sentencing Commission, said his legislation would provide he toughest stance to deter home invasion crimes.

The bill is currently being considered in the State House of Representatives.

 

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