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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 20, 2019 11:16 AM
From: Senator Daniel Laughlin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Intellectually Disabled and Autistic Victims
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that will apply the existing tender years exception to those with intellectual disabilities or autism.

Provided that the evidence is relevant, and the content and circumstances of the statement provide sufficient signs of reliability, and the victim is otherwise not able to testify in person, this legislation will allow a reliable but hearsay statement from a victim who is intellectually disabled or autistic to be admissible in court.

These victims should not be made to suffer more because they cannot necessarily communicate effectively in court. If they have made statements outside of court that are deemed by a judge to be reliable, then these statements should be admissible.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB469