New PA Law Aimed at Convicted Cop Killer Allows Lawsuits Against Inmates

corbettHARRISBURG, Pa. – Near the site where Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was murdered on December 9, 1981, Governor Tom Corbett yesterday signed Senate Bill 508, the Re-Victimization Relief Act.

Governor Corbett was joined by State Representative Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery); Senator John Rafferty (R-Montgomery); Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm; Maureen Faulkner, wife of the late officer Faulkner; as well as representatives from law enforcement, victims’ rights, and local and state organizations.

Senate Bill 508 – which allows lawsuits against inmates for “mental anguish” – was drafted after a recorded address by convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal was played at a commencement ceremony at Goddard College in Vermont.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is serving a life sentence for killing Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

“Although the law that I have signed today is not about any one single criminal, it was inspired by the excesses and pious hypocrisy of one particular killer,” Corbett said. “This law clarifies, strengthens and empowers the victims of heinous crimes and makes it abundantly clear that victims have rights too.”

SB 508 amends the Crime Victims Act and gives a victim of a personal injury crime the right to bring civil action against an offender and obtain injunctive relief, including reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with the litigation, for conduct perpetuating the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.

In addition, the district attorney or the Attorney General may also institute a civil action against an offender for injunctive or other appropriate relief for conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.

“I appreciate the hard work and bipartisan spirit that has shaped this bill,” Corbett said. “I think that all Pennsylvanians owe a special debt to Maureen Faulkner who has kept faith with her husband for more than three decades in the pursuit of justice.”

Mumia Abu-Jamal originally was sentenced to death in 1983, but was resentenced to life on August 14, 2012. He is housed at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, Schuylkill County.

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