An over 600 page amendment to House Bill 163 touted as “criminal justice reform” was filed Tuesday, January 5. The bill is expected to be taken up during the upcoming lame-duck session scheduled for January 8 through January 13.
State Senator Dale Fowler said while details on the legislation are still emerging, there are some glaring concerns with the proposal, including the following:
- Prohibits Pre-Trial Detention when an offender poses a danger to the Community At-Large.
- Significantly limits offenders being detained, which will pose a significant risk to victims, witnesses to crime and the community at-large.
- Impedes any law enforcement investigation, which will lead to less crimes being solved and no accountability for criminal perpetrators.
- Severely limits accountability for accomplices to murder by amending the Felony Murder Rule.
- Removes all due process protections for Police Officers.
“This proposal is dangerous, leaving our communities open to criminal acts and violence. While there will always be bad actors out there and they should be held accountable for their actions, this legislation is outrageous and far-reaching,” said Fowler. “I have the upmost respect for the men and women who take to the streets day-after-day to serve and protect, and I will not stand for legislation that is a blatant attack on their profession and endangers our communities.”