Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says he's happy a bill that would have reduced penalties for murder resulting from drive-by shootings in Washington state has died in the State House.

The bill would have barred using drive-by shooting as a factor in sentencing

It was House Bill 1692 and it would have eliminated drive-by shooting as an aggravating factor in a first-degree murder case. The bill would have also applied retroactively and provided for the vacation of previous convictions for aggravated first-degree murder, and resentencing for first-degree murder without the penalty associated with the aggravating factor. But the laws will now remained unchanged.

The sponsor of the bill says the law targets gangs who were young and black

The measure was prefiled on Friday, Dec. 23 and died in the House recently.
One of the democratic sponsors of the bill, Rep. Tarra Simmons says the law was mainly aimed at young gangs who were young and black. But Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says that's simply not true. He says the law has been used as an aggravating factor at least 5 times in Yakima and likely more times in other parts of the state. Brusic also says the the aggravating factor has been used against criminal gangs who were mostly Hispanic not young black gang members.

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