Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bill to increase time served for attempted murder of peace officers moves to floor

Lawmakers serving on the House Judiciary Committee sent a clear message today to those who try to harm our state's protectors by unanimously passing a bill that that would make attempted murder of a peace officer or firefighter an offense with longer prison time.

Paducah Democrat Gerald Watkins, who sponsored House Bill 137, said he was pleased with the action. If the bill becomes law, it would require that 85 percent of the defendant’s sentence be served before probation or parole.

“This common-sense piece of legislation sends a strong message,” Rep. Watkins said. “We want to protect those who protect us.”

Rep. Watkins testified that those committing these crimes are eligible for parole/probation after only serving about 20 percent of their sentence. He added that he was proud to introduce a bill that would classify attempted murder of our police officers and firefighters as a violent offense.

“Increasing prison time for those who commit these crimes is what we should be doing,” he added.
The measure, which is set to be considered by the entire House, is endorsed by the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police, the Kentucky Sheriff's Association, and the Kentucky Professional Firefighter's Association.