Lawmakers support tougher rape sanctions, but want exception for some juveniles
Bill would not allow some convicted rapists to have records sealed and be removed from sex offender registry
PIERRE — Should a man convicted of rape get a do-over that removes him from the state’s sex offender registry while a juvenile who has sex with a younger girlfriend be condemned to the registry for life?
That’s a question lawmakers are grappling with as they seek to impose a tougher sanction on some rape convictions while trying not to ensnare young people – a reminder that when it comes to justice, there can be gray area between the black and white.
The issue was highlighted by two powerful stories told to members of the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Rep. Mary Fitzgerald has introduced legislation that would remove the ability of some rapists to receive a suspended imposition of sentence. Suspended imps, as they are commonly called, allow a person convicted of a crime to serve out a sentence and then have that crime stricken from his record and sealed.
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