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State Senate Passes Bill That Would Toughen Penalties For Arson

October 16, 2013

The state Senate has passed a bill to toughen Pennsylvania’s arson law by setting more stringent sentencing guidelines.

Under the measure, sponsored by Senator John Rafferty, a person could be convicted of a new crime, aggravated arson, if he or she intentionally starts, aids in starting or pays someone to start a fire with the intent to cause bodily harm, or with the knowledge that someone is inside a property at the time.

The penalties would be increased if someone sustains injuries as a result of the crime.  Penalties would also be greater if three or more people are inside a property at the time of an arson, or if the blaze results in more than one million dollars in property damages.

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