- Associated Press - Monday, April 14, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A key legislative committee is moving along a bill that would increase criminal penalties for sucker-punch attacks, despite some lawmakers questioning whether the legislation is needed.

The revamped bill, which passed the Judiciary Committee on a 31-10 vote Monday, would impose a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence for those who intentionally cause serious physical injury, and without provocation, knock someone unconscious by striking a victim in the head.

The legislation would also require any violator age 16 or 17 to automatically be transferred to adult court. A judge could later send the case back to juvenile court.

Proponents said the bill sends a strong message to assailants who attempt to knock out random victims with a single punch that such behavior won’t be tolerated.

The bill moves to the Senate.

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