Puerto Rico governor signs 4 laws to fight crime

AP News
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Posted: Dec 27, 2011 3:03 PM
Puerto Rico governor signs 4 laws to fight crime

The governor of Puerto Rico signed four laws on Tuesday that he says will help track suspects and provide aid to crime victims as the island struggles with a record number of killings.

One law requires those accused of murder, drug trafficking, weapon sales and domestic violence to wear ankle monitoring bracelets. It also states the suspects will pay for the bracelets themselves at a cost of up to $9 a day.

A second law will make it harder for suspects to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. A third requires anyone who buys a prepaid cellphone to provide their personal information.

Gov. Luis Fortuno said such phones are popular because they allow criminals to remain anonymous while demanding ransom for fake kidnappings.

A fourth law will create a judicial office that will compensate witnesses and crime victims and offer them services such as counseling.

The island of nearly 4 million people has reported a record 1,117 killings this year, compared with the previous record of 995 killings in 1994.