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Bill to force those who kill police in Virginia to be killed or spend life in prison moving forward

Bill prevents capital murder charge from being amended, reduced

RICHMOND – A bill to set a mandatory minimum sentence for those convicted of killing a police officer is moving forward.

SB1501 passed 35-5 during Monday's vote.

The bill makes it not possible to reduce or amend the charge of capital murder for someone who faces this charged for killing a law enforcement officer. 

That means if this bill becomes law, that those convicted of capital murder of a law enforcement officer would either spend their lives in prison or face the death penalty.

This is due to the fact that capital murder is considered a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by death or life in prison.

Below is how the law defines law enforcement officers: 

"The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101, a fire marshal appointed pursuant to § 27-30 or a deputy or an assistant fire marshal appointed pursuant to § 27-36, when such fire marshal or deputy or assistant fire marshal has police powers as set forth in §§ 27-34.2 and 27-34.2:1, an auxiliary police officer appointed or provided for pursuant to §§ 15.2-1731 and 15.2-1733, an auxiliary deputy sheriff appointed pursuant to § 15.2-1603, or any law-enforcement officer of another state or the United States having the power to arrest for a felony under the laws of such state or the United States, when such killing is for the purpose of interfering with the performance of his official duties."

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.