McHose-Space bill passes Assembly

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Legislation sponsored by Assembly Republicans Alison McHose and Parker Space, both R-Sussex, Warren and Morris, that makes the crime of home invasion when a person is present a first-degree offense under certain circumstances was approved by the General Assembly today.

The bill (A-4329) is in response to the break-in, robbery and vicious assault in a Millburn residence in June.

The Home Invasion Bill would make a home with the intent to commit a robbery, a first- or second-degree crime, or certain kidnapping and sexual crimes when a person is present a first-degree crime, which imposes a 10-30 year prison term.

“The ordeal of a home burglary is a traumatic experience, and the psychological impact of being present when this occurs causes emotional scars that last a lifetime,” said McHose. “Criminals who commit such actions show a total lack of respect for others and are completely indifferent to the pain they cause. Those guilty of a home invasion deserve to serve a significant amount of time behind bars.”

A home invasion offense would be subject to the No Early Release Act, which stipulates that the convicted must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

“It is unfortunate that feeling secure in one’s home is something that can’t be taken for granted,” Space said. “A criminal who acts with such callousness and threatens someone’s physical and mental well-being violates a basic premise that we hold sacred. Those who exhibit such detestable behavior and total lack of respect belong in one place — jail.”

Currently, the charge for the unlawful, non-violent break-in of a home is a third-degree offense and does not require a prison sentence.

Other Assembly Republican sponsors of the bill include Jon Bramnick, Mary Pat Angelini, Dave Rible, Scott Rumana and BettyLou DeCroce.

The identical bill in the Senate (S-2932) is sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris.

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