Senator Ed Durr announced his intention to introduce a bill that would establish a mandatory minimum term of incarceration for sentencing related to bribery charges.
Sen. Ed Durr intends to introduce a bill that would establish a mandatory minimum term of incarceration for sentencing related to bribery charges. (©iStock)
“If legislators are serious about rooting out corruption from public offices we need to establish stricter penalties. Elected officials who are convicted of bribery need more than a slap on the wrist to deter this despicable behavior,” said Durr (R-3). “Taxpayers need to know that public officials will be held accountable if they are convicted of a crime. My bill would require anyone convicted of accepting a bribe to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.”
Under current statutes, bribery in official and political matters is a crime of the second or third degree depending on the value of the bribe. A bribe that has a value of $200 or less is considered a crime of the third degree. All other bribes are considered a crime of the second degree.
Crimes of the second degree are punishable by a fine of up to $150,000, five to ten years in prison, or both. Crimes of the third degree are punishable by a fine of up to $15,000, three to five years in prison, or both. Under certain circumstances, convicted criminals may be eligible for parole before their term of imprisonment expires.
Senator Durr’s bill would require anyone convicted of accepting a bribe to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration before becoming eligible for parole, which would be five years for a second-degree conviction and three years for a third degree conviction.
“Repeat offenders like Senator Menendez and the allegations against him are more than enough reason to pass this bill,” Durr added. “The culture of corruption that has been allowed to persist in New Jersey must come to an end. If you accept a bribe, this bill will make sure you do the time.”