Va. Gov. McDonnell touts tougher penalties for rapists, drug dealers

Rapists who prey on children would get life in prison and repeat drug dealers would get 5- and 10-year minimum sentences under public safety bills pushed by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R).


Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), center, joined by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, left, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II , at the Capitol Jan. 10. (Steve Helber/AP)

“Public safety is the foremost priority of government,” McDonnell said. “It is paramount that we continue to work to ensure we have safe streets and communities so that our children are growing up and learning in a safe environment; businesses are able to thrive and expand; and families continue to choose to make Virginia their home.”

Among the bills McDonnell promoted was one that would impose tough mandatory sentences for repeat drug dealers — a minimum of five years for a second offense and 10 years for the third or subsequent offenses.

Another would impose mandatory minimum life sentences for raping a child under the age of 13.

Other bills would toughen penalties for violent juvenile offenders, impose tougher sentences on drunken drivers, and strengthen anti-bullying efforts.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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