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Lawmaker Proposes Tougher Penalties in Response to Fatal Carjacking

If Representative Laurie Schlegel's bill passes, carjackers in Louisiana could face a minimum of five years in prison, doubling to twenty years if the victim is harmed.
If Representative Laurie Schlegel's bill passes, carjackers in Louisiana could face a minimum of five years in prison, doubling to twenty years if the victim is harmed.

BATON ROUGE - In a targeted effort to combat rising crime rates, Louisiana legislators are rallying behind a proposal to escalate penalties for carjacking offenders.


State Representative Laurie Schlegel has introduced a bill to intensify sentences for perpetrators of carjacking incidents. The measure garnered favorable support from the Criminal Justice Committee and now advances to Appropriations for further consideration.

"Instances of carjacking are pervasive in our communities, dominating headlines and instilling fear among residents," Schlegel remarked.


Under the proposed legislation, the minimum prison term for convicted carjackers would escalate from two years to a mandated minimum of five years. Moreover, if the victim sustains bodily harm during the incident, the penalty would double, requiring a minimum sentence of twenty years.


The impetus for the bill stems from a tragic event in 2022 when four teenagers carjacked 73-year-old Linda Frickey, resulting in her untimely death as she was dragged by her vehicle.

Reflecting on the prevalence of such crimes, Schlegel emphasized, "Carjacking can happen to anyone, anywhere. It's a stark reality that demands decisive action."


Acknowledging the bipartisan consensus on the need for legislative action, State Representative Vanessa LaFleur, Vice Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, highlighted ongoing discussions surrounding the bill's efficacy in addressing underlying causes of criminal behavior.


"While there's broad support for measures targeting carjacking, questions remain about the broader impact on crime prevention," LaFleur noted. "Our caucus is committed to evaluating each proposal's effectiveness in addressing root causes."


In addition to the carjacking bill, Schlegel has proposed legislation targeting the sale and distribution of 'rainbow fentanyl,' a variant designed to appeal to children with its colorful and flavored composition.

 

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