CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Del. Justin Marcum, D-Mingo, is working with the West Virginia Legislature this session to provide protection for state law enforcement officers.
Marcum is the lead sponsor for House Bill 2426, which would require a minimum criminal penalty of life imprisonment if convicted of killing an individual on the basis of his or her status as a law enforcement officer.
The penalty would only be applied if the individual had the specific intent to kill the officer just because the officer is a member of law enforcement.
Marcum said he hopes to see the bill pass to give peace of mind to the families and supporters of those officers who face danger each day.
“These men and women put their lives on the line everyday to keep the peace and protect us,” Marcum said. “It’s time that we do our part to protect them, too.”
Because of the national climate surrounding issues of police brutality, Marcum said the brutal acts of a few officers have often been projected back onto many innocent officers, who truly do the best they can to administer the law fairly.
“We need to restore respect for members of law enforcement in this country,” Marcum said, “And that can start right here in West Virginia with this piece of legislation.”
The bill is currently pending for approval in the House Judiciary Committee and was introduced in the House of Delegates on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Other sponsors of the bill include Dels. Danny Hamrick, Chad Lovejoy, Zack Maynard, Rodney Miller, John Overington, Rupert Phillips, Ralph Rodighiero, Matthew Rohrbach, Kelli Sobonya and Steve Westfall.