WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07), joined by Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), announced the reintroduction of 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. Identical legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).
“Justice for a murder victim should not be negatively determined by an arbitrary period of time. This bipartisan proposal will eliminate the archaic ‘year-and-a-day’ rule to ensure murderers are held accountable and victims receive justice,” said Congressman Tiffany.
“No victim should be denied justice simply because modern medicine helped to delay for an arbitrary period of time their death from injuries sustained from an attack. 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. Tiffany and Johnson’s bipartisan proposal would amend the rule so 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the assault and death of the victim – ensuring murder victims are not denied justice in the federal system due to an outdated rule.
The bipartisan Justice for Murder Victims Act is supported by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Iowa County Attorneys Association, the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Murder Accountability Project, the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, and the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children.
Text of the Justice for Murder Victims Act is available here.