RI lawmakers weigh stiffer penalties for convicts who kill local officials

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The House Judiciary Committee will consider a bill this afternoon inspired in part by the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.

A bill sponsored by Representative Roberto DaSilva would remove the possibility of parole for someone convicted of the first-degree murder of a state or local official.

Another bill by the East Providence lawmaker would make it a felony to assault a local or state official. The maximum penalties for that crime would be a three-year prison sentence and/or a fine of up to fifteen-hundred dollars.

DaSilva says he began researching the state's murder statute after a shooting at Florida school board meeting. He says the rampage in which Giffords was injured solidified his belief that stiffer penalties are necessary.

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