Pennsylvania

Eric's Law to give justice for murder victims

A bill was introduced Wednesday that aims to deliver justice to victims and their families in federal death penalty cases. 

Senators Pat Toomey and Tom Cotton, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz introduced this legislation called 'Eric's Law' to permit prosecutors to impanel a second jury for sentencing if the first jury fails to reach a unanimous sentencing decision.

Eric's Law is named for federal correctional officer Eric Williams who was murdered by an inmate at U.S. Penitentiary Canaan in Wayne County, Pennsylvania in 2013. 

According to a news release, the inmate who murdered Williams was already serving a life sentence for murder. Although he was found guilty, no additional punishment was added to his sentence because "one juror out of twelve would not vote for a death penalty sentence."

"Eric’s Law will protect against such a gross miscarriage of justice and allow more hardened criminals to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Senator Cotton in a news release. 

 


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