Thursday, February 16, 2012

Article: Branstad OKs bill toughening strangulation penalty

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law a measure toughening penalties for domestic abuse cases that involve strangulation.

The measure signed by Branstad on Wednesday will let judges sentence people convicted of strangling a domestic partner to a year in prison. The current limit is 30 days in jail.

Branstad says the measure strengthens Iowa law and makes sense.

Iowa City Democratic Rep. Vicki Lensing was a main backer of the measure. She says it sends a signal that lawmakers are serious about toughening penalties for domestic abuse.

Ames Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach says abuse that includes strangulation are often a signal that more violence is looming. He says lawmakers must take the issue seriously.

The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure with little debate.

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