Article Image

IPFS News Link • Arizona's Top News

SOFT ON CRIME: Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Vetos Bill to Increase Penalties on Organized...

• By Jordan Conradson

Katie Hobbs on Tuesday vetoed Senate Bill 1414 which would have increased penalties for repeat offenders of Arizona's organized retail theft law.

The legislation would deem that "a person who is convicted of a third or subsequent violation of organized retail theft with the intent to resell or trade the stolen merchandise to be sentenced as a category two repetitive offender," as opposed to current law, which classifies repeat offenders as a category one repetitive offender "for the second and subsequent offenses." Category two offenders receive harsher sentences.

Hobbs wrote in a veto letter, "Today, I vetoed Senate Bill 1414. I have signed Sen. Gowan's bill SB1411 establishing an Organized Retail Theft Task Force in the Attorney General's office that will be critical to adequately and appropriately combat this issue. Their first report is due July 1, 2025 and I look forward to reviewing their policy recommendations and working together to find balanced policies for this matter."

However, the bill she signed into law only establishes a task force in the Attorney General's office. It does nothing to punish repeat offenders like SB1414.

The bill summary states:

Purpose

Requires a person who is convicted of a third or subsequent violation of organized retail theft with the intent to resell or trade the stolen merchandise to be sentenced as a category two repetitive offender.

Background

Current statute classifies a person who is convicted of multiple felony offenses that were not committed on the same occasion, but that are either consolidated for trial purposes or are not historical prior felony convictions, as a first time felony offender for the first offense and a category one repetitive offender for the second and subsequent offenses. A person who is at least 18 years of age or who has been tried as an adult must be sentenced as: 1) a category two repetitive offender if the person stands convicted of a felony and has one historical prior felony conviction; or 2) a category three repetitive offender if the person stands convicted of a felony and has two or more historical prior felony convictions (A.R.S. § 13-703).


AzureStandard