WASHINGTON, DC – PA U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and PA Congressman Fred Keller are re-introducing Eric’s Law, a bill aimed to deliver justice to victims and their families in federal death penalty cases. Eric’s Law is named for Eric Williams, a correctional officer who was murdered by an inmate at a federal penitentiary in Wayne County, PA in 2013. At the time he took Officer Williams’ life, the inmate was already serving a life sentence for murder. Although a federal jury found the prisoner guilty of the crime, the inmate received essentially no additional punishment because one juror out of twelve would not vote for a death penalty sentence. The measure would permit prosecutors to impanel a second jury for sentencing if the first jury fails to reach a unanimous sentencing decision. Currently, prosecutors can’t impanel a second jury for sentencing if a jury in a federal death penalty case fails to reach a unanimous decision on a sentence. The judge must impose a sentence other than the death penalty.

REP. FRED KELLER

SEN. PAT TOOMEY