Feb 16 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in introducing the Thin Blue Line Act to make the targeting, killing or attempted killing of a police officer an aggravating factor in favor of maximizing sentences.
“The Defund and Disrespect the Police movement has given violent offenders cover to target members of law enforcement. If a wicked person attacks one of the brave officers who protect our local and state communities, they’ve earned the heaviest penalties possible. We have to stop ceding ground to the criminals—because everyone is safer when we back good cops who do good work,” said Kennedy.
“There is a war on our cops, and it’s time we raise the price of targeting them. The Thin Blue Line Act will make targeting or killing a police officer in a violent crime an aggravating factor in favor the harshest penalties we have. President Biden said in his State of the Union speech last week that police officers put their lives on the line every day, and that we ask them to do too much. I agree, and as liberal cities continue to encourage crime by going easy on violent criminals, I’m calling on President Biden to announce his support for this legislation to increase the penalties for those who try to kill cops,” said Braun.
When a jury in a federal case considers whether to impose the death penalty, the jury must consider certain "aggravating" factors.
Current law states that if the murder victim is a federal law enforcement officer or federal prosecutor, this fact shall weigh as an aggravating factor in favor of the maximum penalty.
The Thin Blue Line Act provides the same level of justice to local law enforcement officers, prosecutors and first responders.
The bill also enhances the penalty for a criminal who targets a law enforcement officer, prosecutor or first responder solely because that victim has chosen to protect and serve.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) also cosponsored the bill.