Guam - Legislation to ratchet up sentencing for those who commit crimes against the island's most vulnerable citizens had a public hearing today. Bill 272 was crafted with input from the Attorney General's Office. It would increase sentencing for those who commit crimes against senior citizens, children, persons with disabilities and tourists. When sentenced under this act, an individual could receive an additional 5-20 years for a felony or 60 days to one year for a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor. Chief Deputy Attorney General Phil Tydingco provided testimony on behalf of the attorney general's office. Tydingco says the AG's Office modeled the legislation after sentencing enhancements currently on the books. For example one could be sentenced extra time if the judge acts on extra time for a special allegation such as the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.
The Vulnerable Victims Act would be applied in the same way. "Many jurisdictions have it in various forms yes some craft actually crimes based on the particular persons others just use it as sentencing enhancements," said Tydingco.
The legislation was introduced by Senator Brant McCreadie. A public hearing was also held today on Bill 273 which ups invasion of privacy crimes from a misdemeanor to a felony.