Democratic lawmakers in Washington recently introduced legislation that would scale back penalties for drive-by shootings, Fox News reported Wednesday.
The bill, HB 1692, was proposed by Democratic Washington Reps. Tarra Simmons and David Hackney and intends to promote “racial equity in the criminal justice system,” the bill says.
HB 1692 would eliminate drive-by shootings as a form of aggravated first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole, Fox News reported. (RELATED: 3 Children Shot In Separate Drive-By Incidents)
Simmons told Fox News that the aggravating factor for drive-by shootings has only been used one time since it had been classified as an aggravating factor in 1995.
Simmons Kimonti Carter, 18, took part in a drive-by shooting in 1997 that resulted in the death of college student Corey Pittman and the wounding of two others. Carter was sentenced to 777 years in prison, according to The Seattle Times.
“If he had been standing outside of the vehicle at the time, he would’ve faced 240-320 months in prison,” Simmons told Fox News. “Instead, he was sentenced to life in prison with no opportunity for parole because of this law. This law’s history and application… is what we mean when we talk about systemic racism.”
HB 1692 would apply to individuals convicted of aggravated first-degree murder in the past if a drive-by shooting was the only aggravating factor, potentially freeing Carter if the bill passes, Fox News reported.