Bill requiring defendants hear victim statements passes state House committee

Feb 14, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   People convicted of crimes would have to listen to victim statements at their sentencing hearings, if a bill making its way through the state Legislature becomes law. 

Representative Holly Hughes

Last December, Jeffrey Willis was sentenced for murdering a woman while she was out jogging. He asked to leave the courtroom before the victim’s family gave their impact statements. The judge agreed.

Republican Representative Holly Hughes is a bill sponsor. She says Willis never should have been allowed to leave the courtroom.

“The perpetrator, the murderer, should not have more rights than the families to be heard about how this is going to impact their lives every day,” she says.

The bill is currently waiting for a full House vote.