Death Penalty Option for Terrorists One Step Closer To Law
Establishes Uniform Standard, U.S. Senate Must Act
WASHINGTON, DC (12/14) Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito's effort to ensure the death penalty is an option for any type of terrorist attack on a transportation system received final approval today when the U.S. House of Representatives reauthorized the PATRIOT ACT by a vote of 251 to 174.
"The attacks against the rail system in Madrid, Spain and the London Underground have demonstrated the real threat that rail and mass transportation systems face from terrorists," noted Capito. "The changes I propose are critical to the war on terror because they will eliminate bogus legal challenges creating a consistent punishment for those who attack or support an attack on our nations transportations systems."
"A terrorist that faces justice will not escape the death penalty. The changes will ensure that those who conspire to commit attacks against our rail systems or fund such attacks can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including the death penalty if an attack kills a person."
Capito noted, "A strict penalty is not a 100% determent for a terrorist bent on causing death and destruction, however, these enhanced penalties will also apply to the conspirators who aid and abet terrorists in securing finances and support for an attack."
The changes proposed by Capito will set penalties of up to 20 years in prison for knowingly acting to derail, wreck, set fire to, or disable on-track equipment or a mass transportation vehicle. The amendment includes a 30 year sentence for an attack against a vehicle carrying high-level radioactive waste or spent nuclear fuel. The amendment also provides for a life sentence and death penalty eligibility if an attack results in the death of any person.
The United States Senate needs to finalize the PATROIOT ACT reauthorization before the changes will become law.