Tennessee House to Vote on Bills Giving Death Sentence for Murder or Life Without Parole for Attempted Murder Against Law Enforcement, First Responders


Those who murder or attempt to murder law enforcement or first responders may be sentenced to death or life without parole, respectively. The Tennessee House will vote on two bills outlining these proposed sentencing changes next Thursday. Specifically, these bills would apply to police, correctional officers, department of correction employees, probation and parole officers, emergency medical or rescue workers, EMTs, paramedics, and firefighters.

HB0511 handles murder charges, whereas HB0512 handles attempted murder charges. The former bill would give the jury two options for those who murder law enforcement or first responders: death, or life without parole. The latter bill would add onto the current sentencing options for attempted murder to allow life without parole as a punishment. It would also prohibit relief eligibility for those who received life without parole for aggravated rape, murder, or attempted murder of a child. Current law only limits relief eligibility for aggravated raped or murder of a child – this proposal would expand that to attempted murder.

State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) introduced both bills.

HB0511 passed out of both subcommittee and committee rather quickly – only State Representatives London Lamar (D-Memphis) and Jerry Sexton (Bean Station) requested to record their votes as “no.”

Likewise, HB0512 passed out of committee with ease. The “no” votes were recorded as State Representatives Bill Beck (D-Nashville), Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville), and Lamar.

Gant has sponsored another bill with sentencing reform objectives. He introduced “anti-riot” legislation that would heighten charges for obstructing highways to a felony, and create punishments for rioters who throw objects, harass, or intimidate others. As The Tennessee Star reported, it would also provide immunity for drivers who unintentionally hit protestors blocking roadways illegally.

If passed by the House next Thursday, both bills will await consideration in the Senate. The companion bills, both sponsored by State Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), were referred to committee last month and haven’t been taken up yet.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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4 Thoughts to “Tennessee House to Vote on Bills Giving Death Sentence for Murder or Life Without Parole for Attempted Murder Against Law Enforcement, First Responders”

  1. Horatio Bunce

    Tennessee Republicans continue to cater to ” law enforcement” whose labor union actively lobbied against the U.S. Constitution and already enjoy qualified immunity and are not held responsible for their criminal actions while on duty. They pass the “governor’s bill” on fake constitutional carry, adding more power to the unaccountable armed robbers practicing asset forfeiture. They have repeatedly joined “law enforcement” in positioning themselves against law abiding people, and if possible, Democrats would only be worse disarming all but the criminals.

  2. JRin

    Why are the lives of first responders more important than the lives of citizens whom they serve?

  3. Fine! But why not punish the Dregs of Society who terrorize and Murder Ordinary citizens the same? Are ordinary Honorable Citizens just sheep? The predators will go for the sheep THE PEOPLE, instead of the Sheep Dog or Protectors wit the knowledge they face less consequence or risk and punishment from Authorities. I don’t like the analogy but it’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet. The People are disarmed and denied the Right to defend their Lives And Property, and face lesser if any punishment, the Predators want it that way and so it is..just don’t go after the Police, whose identify and arrest the Predators.
    Police Officers, our Neighbors and Friends who took the job of protecting The People do face great threat by confronting and pursuing the Predators. The Prey, the disarmed People are the first and preferred targets. Those who murder any Citizen of Officer should face the same consequences.

  4. CMinTN

    No special carve outs. We are all to be equal under the law.