• 8-year-old's murder could change way parole cases are handled in Pa.

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    A Lawrence County lawmaker said he will introduce legislation to enact Markie's Law after an 8-year-old boy was stabbed to death, allegedly by a convicted murderer just out on parole.

    The legislation would add extra time behind bars if an inmate commits an offense while in jail.

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    On July 8, just three months out on the street after serving the minimum sentence, 20 years, for a 1999 murder conviction, parolee Keith Burley killed again, police say, stabbing his girlfriend's child, Mark Mason to death inside a Union Township home.

    "We cannot change what has already occurred, but we have an obligation and responsibility to do everything with our power to make sure it doesn't happen again," Josh Lamancusa, the Lawrence County district attorney said.


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    Lamancusa joined forces with a state representative on Thursday, saying the parole process is broken. 

    "We simply cannot allow these violent offenders to end up back on the streets where they can potentially harm innocent people," said State Rep. Aaron Bernstine, R-10th District.

    Markie's Law would make it harder for violent offenders to get out of jail, stating if you have a violent offense conviction while in jail, an additional 24 months is added to your sentence. 

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    If you attempt to escape, smuggle contraband or retaliate, you'll do an additional 12 months. 

    Officials said if Markie's Law was in effect while Burley was behind bars, everything would be different.

    Bernstine goes back to Harrisburg on Tuesday with plans to introduce the legislation very soon. He hopes to get it passed by the end of the year. 


     

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