PHILADELPHIA, August 16, 2017 – State Senator Art Haywood today announced his plans to lead an immediate, extensive reconstruction of terrorism legislation in Pennsylvania.
The measure is in response to the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend that killed one anti-white supremacist protester, Heather Heyer, and injured scores of others.
“In light of the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, we need to take meaningful steps to ensure that Pennsylvania has the proper deterrent on the books,” Haywood said. “Currently our laws do not fully address domestic terrorism and do not go far enough in dissuading and punishing those who conspire to or act on those inclinations.”
Haywood has identified several issues with current Pennsylvania legislation and will pursue remediation for concerns with the statute of limitations, conspiracy, fine limits and degree of criminality, among others.
“Domestic terrorism is what we saw in Virginia. Ms. Heyer’s murder was meant to advance the white supremacist agenda in America and to intimidate those citizens who stand against it,” Haywood said. “We must deter these despicable actions now with strong legislation so that perpetrators and collaborators know that they will be held accountable and punished severely for any act of domestic terrorism.”
Haywood said he will consult with officials at the state, local and federal levels in pushing the measure. He expects the effort to be bipartisan and to include full deliberation in the months to come.