WASHINGTON – On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and 10 of their Republican colleagues in reintroducing the Thin Blue Line Act, which enhances penalties for criminals who target law enforcement. The bill makes the targeting, killing, or attempted killing of a police officer an aggravating factor in favor of maximum sentences.
“Our brave men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. With crime reaching record highs across the country and the increase in officers killed in the line of duty, it is important to prioritize the safety of our law enforcement and our communities,” said Sen. Johnson. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to fight back against Democrat soft-on-crime policies and deter criminals from targeting law enforcement.”
“There is a war on our cops, and it’s time we raise the price of targeting them. The Thin Blue Line Act will make targeting or killing a police officer in a violent crime an aggravating factor in favor the harshest penalties we have,” said Sen. Braun. “President Biden said in his State of the Union speech last week that police officers put their lives on the line every day, and that we ask them to do too much. I agree, and as cities continue to encourage crime by going easy on violent criminals, I’m calling on President Biden to announce his support for this legislation to increase the penalties for those who try to kill cops.”
- When a jury in a federal case considers whether to impose the death penalty, the jury must consider certain “aggravating” factors.
- Current law states that if the murder victim is a federal law enforcement officer or federal prosecutor, this fact shall weigh as an aggravating factor in favor of the maximum penalty.
- The Thin Blue Line Act provides the same level of justice to local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and first responders.
- It also enhances the penalty when a defendant targets a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or first responder solely because that individual has chosen to protect and serve.
Sens. Johnson and Braun are joined on the legislation by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), John Hoeven (R-S.D.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.).