17 Jun 2013

Guam considering life sentences for second offenders

6:04 am on 17 June 2013

A bill is being debated in the Guam legislature that would set a mandatory non-parole sentence of life in prison for anyone convicted of committing a violent or aggravated felony for a second time.

Bill 107, introduced by Senator Brant McCready, covers 14 serious offences, including aggravated assault, sexual assault and murder.

The bill's opponents say it will do nothing to prevent the rise of crime, especially as there are no drug or rehabilitation programmes for offenders in Guam.

But Mr McCready says the bill has the support of the people and it is up to criminals to want to rehabilitate themselves.

"The opposition came from defence attorneys and public defenders, so I understand that they have to oppose this. But this bill is aimed at the inmate who rather than rehabilitate he reoffends. And at some point that inmate is going to have to look in the mirror and take accountability for what he does. We do not create the inmate, the inmate creates himself."

Brant McCready says the bill has 6 co-sponsors and he believes he will be able to get enough support for it to pass the Senate.