WASHINGTON, DC -- Today Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07), joined by Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), introduced the Justice for Murder Victims Act. Their bipartisan proposal seeks to eliminate the 13th-century “year-and-a-day” rule, which prohibits homicide prosecutions if the victim died more than a year and a day from the date of the defendant’s assault. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the Senate companion of this legislation.
“Archaic rules that allow murderers to evade punishment due to the power of modern medicine serve as a disgrace to murder victims and their loved ones,” said Congressman Tiffany. “Justice for a murder victim should not be negatively determined by an arbitrary period of time, and this bipartisan proposal will hold murderers accountable while bringing justice to victims.”
“No victim should be denied justice simply because modern medicine helped them survive their attack for an arbitrary period of time. Our bill will fix this archaic rule and ensure murderers are brought to justice and families get the closure they deserve,” Senator Grassley said.
Many states have already abolished the rule, recognizing that modern medicine has helped more victims live more than a “year-and-a-day” past their assault. This bipartisan proposal would amend the rule to ensure that there is no maximum prosecutorial time period between the assault and death of the victim – ensuring murder victims are not denied justice in the federal system due to an outdated rule.
Groups supporting the Justice for Murder Victims Act include: The Major Cities Chiefs Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National District Attorneys Association, National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Major County Sheriffs of America, Murder Accountability Project (MAP), National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA), and the Iowa County Attorneys Association.
The full text of the Justice for Murder Victims Act can be found here.