Snyder approves new arson penalty laws

Governor Rick Snyder recently approved in Michigan boost the penalties for arson.  The changes reflect the criminal justice system increasingly viewing arson as a violent crime.

First Degree rson can now be punished with a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The previous maximum was 20 years.

Second Degree arson is now a 20 year felony.  Third Degree arson conviction can now mean up to ten years behind bars.

The Marquette City Police say the stiffer sentences will probably not serve as much of a deterrent.  They point to penalties that are already on the books for other serious crimes.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley recently signed the arson penalties into law.  He had the authority to do so because Governor Snyder was out of state at the time on vacation.