Senator Kissel Praises Governor’s Call for Tougher Penalties Against Burglars

August 1, 2007

The Ranking Member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee today praised Governor M. Jodi Rell’s call for a Special Session to create tougher penalties for burglary offenses. The Governor’s announcement comes just one week after State Senator John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, called upon the state of Connecticut to reassess the penalties for people convicted of burglary. Sen. Kissel also indicated at that time that all burglaries of homes should be considered an act of violence. Current law considers the act of burglary to be a “non-violent” crime. Sen. Kissel believes changes to the law are necessary to create minimum or non-suspendable sentences creating tougher sanctions.

“After assessing the horrible crime that occurred last week in Cheshire the Governor has come to the conclusion that burglary is in itself a violent crime,” said Sen. Kissel. “As I stated last week, the act of someone breaking into your house or even worse, breaking into your house when you are home, is enough to make anyone feel violated. It is clearly an act of violence. Your home is a place where you should feel secure. I am heartened that the Governor agrees with me on this, and I hope we can move forward with these changes to our laws as soon as possible.”

Governor Rell announced yesterday tough new parole standards and post-parole supervision for offenders convicted of nighttime burglaries or burglarizing occupied residences in Connecticut. The Governor also announced she would ask the legislature to reclassify such offenses as violent crimes – requiring anyone convicted to serve at least
85 percent of their sentence before being considered for release through parole.

Sen. Kissel said last week that the law should be changed to require that some portion of the sentence regarding burglaries to homes be non-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 offenders.

“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 have clearly violated a person’s sense of security in their home. I applaud the Governor for backing these measures and look forward to working with her to make sure these new standards are implemented.” said Sen. Kissel.