House Bill 1210*(please see below) is a bill essentially identical to last year’s anti-terrorism legislation, which was brought to a vote in the House by majority Democrats and passed, but later blocked in the Democratic majority Senate. This year, the Senate is in Republican control. This year’s version will be heard in the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee at 1:30 on Wednesday the 5th.
The bill is bad law and doesn’t protect us from terrorism. Among other things, it creates the new crime of Felony Terrorism which expands the death penalty in this state, and has such broad language that a death sentence could result even in cases where no one is killed or injured. The Bush Administration pushed “Mini-Patriot” bills like this one in all 50 states last year and had considerable success, but Washington State rejected such reactionary laws that will do nothing to protect us from terrorism, and even potentially threaten the liberty of law-abiding citizens.
Even Attorney General Ashcroft, when asked whether the Federal law on which this is modeled would have done anything to prevent the events of September 11, 2001, said “no.” Neither would this bill, nor would it make the prosecution of crimes more certain or just.
ACTION: Contact House Leadership and members of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee (listed below), and your two Representatives.
Express opposition to House Bill 1210. Ask that they explain how provisions in the bill would make us more secure. Politely insist that existing laws are sufficient to prosecute crimes related to terrorist acts.
HOUSE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONS
Hunt, Santos, Upthegrove, and Darnielle voted against the legislation last year; please thank them for their efforts last year. All the rest listed who were in the Legislature last year (Hudgins and Wallace are new this year) voted for this bad law. Urge them to vote no this time. Please contact leadership even if they do not represent your district.
If you would like to look at the bill itself go to: http://www.leg.wa.gov/pub/billinfo/2003-04/House/1200-1224/1210_01212003.txt
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In my Alert dated February 1, 2003 I erroneously stated that House Bill 1210
My apologies to those who used my misinformation to contact legislators. We