Washington state lawmakers introduced a bill this month that would reduce penalties for drive-by shootings with the goal of “promoting racial equity.
The bill, introduced by Democrats Tarra Simmons and David Hackney before the 2022 state legislative session, would eliminate drive-by shootings as the basis for elevating a count of first-degree murder to first-degree aggravated murder, which entails a mandatory sentence. life imprisonment. Vehicle shootings were added to the list of aggravating factors for murder charges in 1995.
The aggravating factor that would eliminate the bill reads: “The murder was committed during the course of or as a result of a shooting in which the discharge of the firearm … is from a motor vehicle or from the immediate area of a vehicle motorized vehicle that was used to transport the shooter or firearm. Other aggravating factors include the murder of law enforcement officers, killings by inmates while behind bars, and murder-for-hire schemes.
I believe in a society that believes in the power of redemption,” she told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Murder is murder, no matter where the bullet comes from, but locking up young people and throwing away the key is not the answer.” When vehicle shootings were added as an aggravating factor in 1995, the state was experiencing an increase in gangs. Related crimes, according to a report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police.
In 1991, there were only three gang-related homicides, but there were 17 in 1992, 31 in 1993, 26 in 1994, and 13 in 1995. Representative Simmons, who represents a district in western Washington, argued that “it is clear that it was targeting gangs that were predominantly young and black. The aggravating factor for vehicle shootings has only been used once since it was instituted in 1995, according to Simmons.
Kimonti Carter, who was part of a gang since she was 11 years old, was involved in a 1997 vehicle shooting at the age of 18 that left college student Corey Pittman dead and two others injured, reports the Seattle Times. Carter received 777 years in prison. If he had been standing outside the vehicle at that time, he would have faced 240-320 months in prison. Instead, he was sentenced to life in prison without the opportunity for parole due to this law.