Change to sentencing rules for child sex crime murders OK'd

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

(AP) - New Jersey lawmakers have approved a measure to mandate life without parole prison sentences for anyone convicted of killing a minor during the course of a sex crime.

Changes to "Joan's Law" were approved in the state Senate Thursday and the measure now goes to Gov. Chris Christie's desk.

The law has already mandated the sentence for any victim under 14. The change extends the punishment for victims between 14 and 18.

The law is named in the memory of 7-year-old Joan Angela D'Alessandro, who was raped and killed by a neighbor while delivering boxes of Girl Scout cookies in 1973.

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