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Perdue signs four crime-related bills

Posted June 23, 2011

— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Thursday signed four crime-related bills into law, including a bipartisan effort to reform sentencing and probation laws.

Other bills toughen penalties for impaired driving and intimidating witnesses and create a task force to crack down on fraud against senior adults.

House Bill 642, the "Justice Reinvestment Act," allows the state to place short-term punishments on probationers for small violations, with the hopes of pushing them to avoid serious violations. More released felons will be supervised, and repeat breaking-and-entering offenders will face tougher punishments. More misdemeanor violators will serve jail time, while more first-time drug offenders can avoid prosecution.

Bill supporters argue the changes could result in the need for 3,000 fewer prison beds. The bill grew out of bipartisan request in 2009 for input from with the State Council of Government's Justice Center.

House Bill 49, "Laura's Law," calls for tougher prison sentences and restrictions for people with multiple driving while impaired convictions.

It's named after Laura Fortenberry, 17, who died in a drunken-driving wreck in Gaston County last July involving Howard Pasour, who was on probation for two DWI convictions. Pasour, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death and will be in prison until 2035.

The bill requires a DWI offender to receive a one- to three-year prison sentence if there are three grossly aggravating factors, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. The court can require electronic alcohol monitoring of some offenders, and an additional $100 fee is imposed on DWI offenders.

Senate Bill 449 orders the state Justice Department's Consumer Protection Division to create a task force to look into fraud against senior adults. The task force is instructed to 

  • review state laws to find where they can be made to better protect seniors against fraud and abuse
  • establish a statewide system to report fraud and mistreatment of seniors
  • get the the state Banking Commission, financial industry and law enforcement working together to prevent fraud against seniors
  • give the state attorney general authority to prosecute fraud against seniors

Senate Bill 268 makes intimidating a witness or crime victim a Class G felony, increasing the penalty for the offense.

23 Comments

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  • Daisygirlforever Jun 23, 7:20 p.m.

    guess this is supposed to cover up the VETO to the bill for ID to vote.

  • Eduardo1 Jun 23, 6:52 p.m.

    charlesshancock.....the Gov is only following the President who is also running for office 2 years prior to election

  • beachboater Jun 23, 5:30 p.m.

    "I bet it just really burns you up that a WOMAN is the Governor of this state doesn't it? Really gets under your skin" bigal02282

    Huh??????? Where did that come from?

  • concerned64 Jun 23, 5:06 p.m.

    it's a shame you can still get a arrested on DUI the first time and walk out the door w/someone picking you up because it goes against their rights. they just had the opportunity to kill someone and still can if they get in a car again. They are not punished at all by spending the night in jail because some smart lawyer won his case in court by pleading his client should had the ability to go to the hospital for a blood test to prove he was not drunk. ok whatever. i'm sure that happens alot. Now drunks are allowed back on the street immediately thanks to our brilliant lawyers who by the way drink and drive and make the laws. why does it take a child dying for tougher laws to get on the books.

  • ahjack3 Jun 23, 4:17 p.m.

    Look as though another level of "slap on the wrist" has been added to those already on probation. That'll teach'em.

  • jackcdneh1017 Jun 23, 3:20 p.m.

    Love the DWI initiative. Still, good lawyers in NC (read highly paid by people with money) always get their clients off. Perdue needs to sign legislation to curb corruption in the NC legal system.

  • Alex25 Jun 23, 1:42 p.m.

    After 200+ yrs of lawmaking, how many more laws do we need..?

    Really...??

  • 3forme Jun 23, 1:16 p.m.

    Anyone know what the grossly aggravating factors arein "Lauras law"?

  • wa4dou Jun 23, 12:59 p.m.

    The kind of people who hit and run wouldn't be detered no matter how long the sentence. Only honest and sane people are detered by consequences. At this point it would take despotic administration of justice to turn back the tide, across the board. Permissiveness has ruled too long.

  • charleshancock Jun 23, 12:49 p.m.

    Too much is expected from Governor who is running for office again already. The "education" word is all she wants the media to hear. The education budget was as close to hers as she could ever have hoped for considering the economic situation and the other party in majority. If she had gotten all she asked for and more, she would still be screaming the E word. While still robbing the Education Lottery Fund for standard education operating expenses, which was not the intent of the lottery. The crime bills are always mostly frivilious and probably not worth much of her time.

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