Lawmaker files bill to amend Kentucky's shock probation law - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lawmaker files bill to amend Kentucky's shock probation law

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Representative Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, is again proposing legislation that would amend the commonwealth's laws dealing with shock probation. 

According to a news release, House Bill 347, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make sure someone convicted of drunk driving who kills someone as part of their crime is ineligible for shock probation. 

Adams sponsored a similar bill during last year's session, House Bill 28, which received a committee hearing but was not voted upon.

"Previous versions of this bill passed the Senate in 2008, and the House in 2009, so I believe support is out there to hold those who drive drunk and kill someone be held accountable to the full letter of the law," Rep. Adams said. 

"While we've dragged our feet on this issue, families of loved ones killed by drunk drivers continue to experience anger and pain because we treat their losses differently under current statue. I hope 2014 is finally the year we can change that." 

House Bill 347 would prohibit shock probation if a person is convicted of second-degree manslaughter or reckless homicide, and also found guilty of driving under the influence arising from the same case. The bill would also allow the victim's next-of-kin to ask the court to permit shock probation. 

Rep. Adams filed the bill again this year in memory of Anne Scharf, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Seneca Park in 1985.  The person convicted in her death only served two months in jail before being granted shock probation.  Carolyn Scharf, Anne's mother, has worked with Rep. Adams in the past in pushing for legislative changes to shock probation in similar cases. 

For more information on House Bill 347, which was filed in the Kentucky House last week, go to http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/14rs/HB347.htm.

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