Senator John Rafferty (R-44) and Senator John Sabatina (D-5) today held a press conference regarding legislation they intend to introduce that would strengthen penalties for burglaries that involve home invasions to better reflect the seriousness of these violent crimes.
Rafferty said the legislation is needed because the current burglary statute does not distinguish those burglaries where force or threat of force is used.
“Criminals who break into homes and threaten the lives of families are committing the ultimate act of violence,” Rafferty said. “This crime has long-lasting repercussions and the potential for deadly consequences. It is the ultimate act of violation.”
The legislation was drafted with input from the District Attorney’s Association and the Office of the Attorney General.
“You have a right to feel safe in your home and not have to worry that someone is going to break in,” said Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman. “Whenever they do take place, home invasions are extremely dangerous and sometimes deadly. That is why I deeply appreciate Senator Rafferty’s bill and efforts to protect the citizens of Pennsylvania.”
The legislation doubles maximum penalties in cases where the intent is to seriously hurt someone within the home, or where during the course of the burglary the perpetrator commits or threatens to commit bodily injury to another person. This would give judges the discretion to sentence individuals to much longer terms than the law currently provides.
“Home invasions involve much more violent acts than just entering a home to steal property,” Rafferty said “These are burglaries where perpetrators are seeking to terrorize and inflict injury on residents, and the penalties should reflect that violence and severity of the intent.”
CONTACT Ryan Boop (717) 787-1398