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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: August 21, 2017 05:08 PM
From: Senator Art Haywood and Sen. Daylin Leach
To: All Senate members
Subject: The Heather Heyer Acts
In the near future, we will introduce a package of two bills in response to the tragic events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia in mid-August. These bills will strengthen several aspects of Pennsylvania law related to terrorism. Collectively, they collectively will be known as the “Heather Heyer Acts,” in honor of Heather Heyer, who was killed after being fatally struck by a car that barreled through a crowd of peaceful protesters at a white nationalist rally.

These bills accomplish several different goals, including:
  • Removing the statute of limitations for the crimes of terrorism;
  • Criminalizing harboring or concealing a terrorist based on federal law;
  • Ensuring that the anti-terrorism statute applies to conspiracies to commit such acts;
  • Increasing the grading, penalties and fines imposed for acts of terrorism;
  • Adding certain criminal and vehicle violations that result in personal injury to the Crime Victims Act.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation which will help thwart terrorism in the Commonwealth and keep our citizens safe.

Document #1

Introduced as SB910

Description: Bill #1: Amending Title 18 (Crimes) to:
  • Include personal injury crimes with the intent to terrorize another under the definition of “terroristic threats”;
  • Modify the terrorism statute (section 2717) as follows:
    • Include attempt, conspiracy and solicitation to commit terrorism as crimes, not just commission;
    • Ensure the statute includes using a motor vehicle as a weapon to commit terrorism;
    • Modify the grading for “terrorism” as follows:
      • If the offense results in bodily injury to 1+ persons, a maximum of 40 years imprisonment and up to $100,000;
      • If the offense results in serious bodily injury to 1+ persons, a maximum of 60 years imprisonment and up to $200,000;
      • If the offense results in death of 1+ persons, a term of life imprisonment and up to $500,000.
  • Lift the statute of limitations on terrorism prosecutions.
  • Create the offense of harboring or concealing terrorists (new section 2717.1) for a person who harbors/conceals any person who he knows or reasonably believes is about to or has committed terrorism and related crimes, graded as a first-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and a third-degree felony for subsequent offenses.

Document #2

Introduced as SB911

Description: Bill #2: Amending the Crime Victims Act’s definition of “personal injury crime” to include aggravated assault by vehicle.