WHEREAS, the General Assembly recognizes that fear of crime is one of the major personal concerns of elderly persons and that elderly persons are more vulnerable to and disproportionately damaged by crime because they are less able to escape offenders and are more likely to receive serious injury; and
WHEREAS, the elderly are particularly impacted by crimes of assault and robbery, because they tend to suffer the greatest relative deprivation -financially, physically and psychologically -- as a result of the crimes against them; and
WHEREAS, elderly persons are seldom as physically or emotionally equipped to protect themselves or aid in their own security as are their younger counterparts in society. At the same time, they are far more susceptible than other age groups to the adverse long—term effects of assault and robbery; and
WHEREAS, the loss of money or material goods through strong arm robbery (by physical force) represents a substantial financial impact upon most elderly victims; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly finds that the penalty for the crimes of assault and robbery against an elderly person should be more severe than the penalties for other members of society.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend §612, Title 11, Delaware Code by deleting the period at the end of (5) thereof and inserting in lieu thereof "; or" and by adding thereto a new (6) as follows:
"(6) He/she intentionally causes physical injury to another person who is 65 years of age or older."
Section 2. Amend §613, Title 11, Delaware Code by deleting the period at the end of (6) and inserting in lieu thereof "; or and by adding thereto a new (7) as follows:
"(7) He/she intentionally causes serious physical injury to another person who is 65 years of age or older."
Section 3. Amend §612 and §613, Title 11, Delaware Code by adding at the end of each section the following sentence:
"It is no defense that the accused did not know the person's age or
that the accused reasonably believed the person to be under the age of 65."
Section 4. Amend §831, Title 11, Delaware Code by deleting subsection (b) thereof in its entirety.
Section 5. Amend §832(a), Title 11, Delaware Code by adding thereto a paragraph (4) as follows:
"(4) Commits said crime against a person who is 65 years of age or older."