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.