Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Holly Hughes Passes "Rebekah Bletsch Law" In Major Win For Crime Victims (And The Hughes State Senate Campaign)

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

When convicted murderer Jeffrey Willis was allowed to leave the courtroom before family and friends spoke after Willis was found guilty of murdering Rebekah Bletsch last fall, people were pissed.

The Muskegon County Sheriff got creative, burning the statements to a CD and forcing Willis to listen to them repeatedly while being transported to another facility.

State Rep. Holly Hughes took legislative action, penning a bill that forces murderers like Willis to have to listen to those they have impacted the most.

The bill was passed by both chambers, signed by the Governor, and is now the law in the state of Michigan. 

The legislation is a win for crime victims, and it gives Hughes some earned media as she battles popular former State Rep. Jon Bumstead in a heated State Senate primary. The bill is also a legislative accomplishment that can be easily explained and touted on the campaign trail. 

According to MLive:

"Convicted criminals now must listen to victim impact statements at sentencing hearings.
Public Act 153 of 2018, also known as the Rebekah Bletsch Law, was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday, May 23.
The law requires convicted criminals to listen to impact statements from victims or family members during sentencing hearings.
The bill, House Bill 5407, was introduced by Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, in January. It was spurred by Jeffrey Willis leaving the courtroom during his sentencing hearing for the murder of Rebekah Bletsch in December 2017 to avoid hearing impact statements. 
Impact statements were given by Blesch's mother and sisters without Willis present."


Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at

No comments:

Post a Comment