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In response to deadly car jacking, Louisiana lawmaker proposes bill increasing penalties

1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago Tuesday, February 20 2024 Feb 20, 2024 February 20, 2024 10:39 PM February 20, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - In the special session dedicated to addressing crime in Louisiana, lawmakers are pushing for harsher penalties to deter crime in the state.

One of State Representative Laurie Schlegel's bills aims to increase time served for carjackers. It passed favorably through the Criminal Justice committee and was sent to Appropriations.

"You can't turn on the news without hearing about instances of people carjacked," Schlegel said.

If passed, the minimum sentencing for carjackers would increase from the current two years to no less than five years. If the victim suffers bodily harm, a ten year sentence doubles to twenty years.

In 2022, four teens carjacked 73-year-old Linda Frickey, who was thrown from her car, caught in the door, and dragged to death when the group sped off.

Three of the four teenagers—Briniyah Baker, Lenyra Theophile, and Mar’qel Curtis—were sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Schlegel says a carjacking can happen to anyone

"There was one in New Orleans just last week in the Marigny. They were selling tamales out of their car, and someone came and carjacked their car," Schlegel said. "This can happen to anyone, and it is happening."

Lawmakers agree something needs to change in regard to how the law handles carjackers. 

State representative and the Vice Chair of the Criminal Justice committee Vanessa LaFleur says there are questions about whether the bill and others proposed are proactive in preventing future crimes.

"The disagreements are maybe not necessarily due to the crime of carjacking, but are we getting to the root cause of crime itself," Lafleur said. "It has been our position with the caucus that nothing within this particular call does that, but there are things that we individually can vote for because it is a good bill."

Schlegel also put forth a bill to criminalize someone to have 'rainbow fentanyl,' a type of fentanyl that is colored, flavored, or designed in a way to appeal to children.

The bill could be decided on in the House of Representatives by the end of the week. The House convenes Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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