Bill to strengthen criminal penalties for drive-by shooters makes progress


A bill that would strengthen the criminal penalties for those convicted of hurting a minor during a drive-by shooting is making progress. 

Senate Bill 10, which is sponsored by Senator Richard Briggs, passed the Senate judiciary committee Tuesday. 

The bill, called the JaJuan Latham Act, is named for the 12-year-old Knoxville boy who was killed in a drive-by shooting while in the back of his father’s parked car. 

JaJuan had just attended a “Stop the Violence” basketball game, which was an event honoring the memory of his own cousin, Zaevion Dobson, who was also killed in a drive-by shooting just months earlier while shielding several girls from gunfire.

The bill would establish enhanced penalties for these shooters that hurt minors during a drive-by shooting. 

Offenses include intentional aggravated assault, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, and criminally negligent homicide. 

The bill now goes to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee for consideration before it moves to the floor for a final vote.  

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