LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that would require convicted defendants to listen to victim impact statements at their sentencing.
Referred to as the “Bletsch Bill,” House Bill 5407 passed 105 in favor to 2 against.
The bill was introduced by Representative Holly Hughes (R-Montague) after Jeffrey Willis, who was convicted of killing Muskegon County mom Rebekah Bletsch, requested to leave the courtroom during his sentencing in December. The judge granted the request and Willis blew a kiss to family members of Bletsch as he left the courtroom. The incident outraged the family in the courtroom and residents of Muskegon County.
The bill now moves on to the Michigan Senate. If it passes there, it will go on to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature to become law.