School shooters in Indiana could face the death penalty under a proposal moving through the Statehouse this week.
The bill is in response to the murder of Andrew Boldt at Purdue University last year.
Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington told lawmakers Tuesday he couldn’t seek the death penalty, or life in prison without parole, for Cody Cousins.
Cousins pleaded guilty to killing Boldt in the basement of the electrical engineering building. He later committed suicide.
“Unfortunately as we learned from the case in Lafayette, this individual researched the actual punishment and made a decision that 30 years was worth it,” Harrington said in an interview with CBS4. “So it begs the question, what if he knew the death penalty or life without parole was facing him?”
The measure would allow prosecutors to seek either the death penalty or life in prison without parole for murders that happen inside schools, including colleges and universities, and places of worship.
“If this bill doesn’t go through, and this occurs again, we don’t even have life without parole available to us as prosecutors,” Harrington said. “And when I spoke with the family of Andrew Boldt about this, this is what they were most shocked at.”
Some voiced concern over a punishment focusing on geography as opposed to the crime and what specifically would constitute school or religious grounds.
The bill still needs approval from the full Senate and House.