February 26, 2008
McNally anti-crime bill and volunteer protection legislation approved by full Senate
(NASHVILLE, TN), February 26, 2008 — The full Senate has passed two key bills sponsored by Senator Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), one measure requires individuals to report violent crimes where serious injury or death occurs, while the other protects volunteers acting in crisis response services. The bills were passed as the General Assembly goes into the eighth week of the 2008 legislative session.
Under the anti-crime bill, it would be a Class B misdemeanor offense for a person to fail to report a crime that results in serious injury and a Class A misdemeanor when the
attack results in death. McNally said the bill, SB 2637, comes after several cases of unreported violent crime nationwide. The most publicized is a case in Nevada where Jeremy Strohmeyer followed a seven-year old girl around in a Las Vegas Casino while her father was gambling. Strohmeyer played hide and seek with the girl, eventually following her into the restroom where he sexually assaulted and murdered her. Strohmeyer’s friend, David Cash, saw the man pursue the girl and even followed them into the restroom where he saw a struggle. Cash, who failed to report the crime to anyone, was not charged by authorities since he did not take any affirmative action to cover up the crime. Cash later made public statements indicating he felt no remorse for failure to report the crime, and in fact bragged about his notoriety in the case.
“Those who idly sit by and watch violent crimes being committed should be punished to the full extent of the law,” said McNally. “Each of us has a duty as a citizen to come to the aid of our fellow man when others inflict harm upon them.”
The volunteer protection bill, SB 2636, adds volunteer crisis response team members who participate in a crisis intervention or intervention training to Tennessee’s “Good Samaritan Law. This legislation protects rescuers voluntarily helping a victim in distress from being sued for emotional distress caused by an act or omission during the intervention as long as the intervention or training was conducted within generally accepted protocols. The Good Samaritan law was designed to encourage people to help a stranger who needs assistance by reducing or eliminating the fear that, if they do so, they will suffer possible legal repercussions in the event that they inadvertently make a mistake in treating the victim.
“This bill simply adds police, firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics, working with professionals such as psychologists in these crisis response teams, to our Good Samaritan Law,” added McNally. “I am pleased that both of these bills have passed our State Senate and am hopeful they will be acted upon soon by the House of Representatives.”