New Bill Says Drive-By Shootings Off the Table for Prosecutors
When the Washington State Legislative Session starts on January 10 Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Committee, will be fighting against a new bill that would reduce penalties for murder resulting from drive-by shootings in Washington state.
Drive-by shootings could be removed as an aggravating factor in sentencing
House Bill 1692 would eliminate drive-by shooting as an aggravating factor in a first-degree murder case. A press release from Mosbrucker says the bill also would "apply retroactively and provide for the vacation of previous convictions for aggravated first-degree murder, and resentencing for first-degree murder without the penalty associated with the aggravating factor. The measure was prefiled on Friday, Dec. 23 for introduction in the 2022 legislative session."
Mosbrucker says she'll fight against the bill that she says could be devistating
Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, issued this statement regarding the legislation:
"Violent crime is on the rise in our communities, in part, because law enforcement officers do not believe under new laws passed by the Legislature earlier this year that they have the authority to detain or pursue individuals, for whom they reasonably suspect have committed criminal acts. It was reported during the summer that at least nine drive-by shootings in the Yakima area this year have left a trail of injuries, deaths and traumatized neighborhoods. This horrific crime is happening more and more across our state, taking the lives of innocent victims, destroying their families, and leaving neighborhoods and communities in fear. This bill would remove an important tool from prosecutors. And just as concerning, it would re-open past convictions so that violent criminals would have their sentences reduced."
"What about the victims and their families? Where is their justice in this bill? Where is our compassion for them?"
"This legislation does nothing to make Washington safer and, in fact, would put the public at further risk to violent crimes. We need to reject this bill and put the safety of our communities first by ensuring that those who commit murder by drive-by shooting remain eligible for the maximum penalty under state law. We also need to stand firm and send a message to violent criminals that they will be held accountable."
The 2022 legislative session begins Jan. 10.
For more information check out the bill here