Senator Kissel Seeks to Increase Penalties for Burglary

July 25, 2007

State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, today said that in light of the horrific home invasion that occurred in Cheshire this week, the state of Connecticut needs to reassess the penalties for people convicted of burglary. Senator Kissel, who serves as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee as well as Chairman of the Connecticut Sentencing Task Force’s Subcommittee on Racial and Ethnic Disparity, said that current law considers the act of burglary to be a “non-violent” crime and that a change in the law to create minimum or non-suspendable sentences would create tougher sanctions.

“People should feel safe in their homes,” said Sen. Kissel. “Your home is your castle, it’s a place where you should feel secure. To have that security violated is in my estimation a violent threat and I think we need to address that as soon as possible.”

Sen. Kissel said that under current law burglary is classified as a class B, C or D felony, which includes a sentence of from one to several years, but does not in most instances require mandatory prison sentences. Sen. Kissel said that the law should be changed to require that some portion of the sentence in all burglary matters is not suspendable. In addition, Sen. Kissel believes that burglary should also be categorized as a violent crime and repeat offenders should clearly fall under the harsher penalties afforded to persistent violent felons.

“When someone breaks into a home in the middle of the night there’s a very good chance that the residents of the home are in the house. The perpetrators know this and that is why I think when these offenders are sentenced they should receive a tougher sentence. They have clearly violated a person’s sense of security in their home.”

“The number one responsibility of state government is to protect the public’s safety and well-being. We need to be sure that we do everything possible to prevent something like this from ever happening again.” said Sen. Kissel.