"Andy's Law": Making criminal organizations pay for crimes
If an organization causes someone to commit a crime, should that group be held responsible?
The father of a victim says... absolutely. And he says the passage of a bill named for his son could make all of Arkansas safer.
"Terrorism doesn't just happen," said bill sponsor Senator Jason Rapert. "Terrorism is committed and terrorist acts are perpetrated by individuals that are motivated and trained."
The man that killed Daris Long's son was one of them.
"Before Mr Bledsoe became Abduhlhakim Muhammed he was recruited, he was indoctrinated. He was selected to receive training in far off land of Yemen and after that committed horrible acts of terrorism in what he himself termed, self avowed Jihad," said Rapert.
Private Andy Long and Private Quinton Ezeagwula were shot at by Muhammed while standing outside a Little Rock recruiting office four years ago.
Muhammed was convicted and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
But Daris Long is hoping a new measure can not only help victims like Ezeagwula, who still has bullet fragments in his head and lungs, but will also cut the funding to the terrorism groups.
Senator Rapert has sponsored "Andy's Law" which would allow victims of terrorist acts to recover damages and attorney's fees. And help law enforcement seize assets including money used for terrorism.
"I'm not overly concerned for myself collecting personal damages, that's not going to bring my son back," said Daris Long. "The issue that I see that's bigger picture is those that facilitate and add to it...you put them out of business. And that's the biggest thing, that keeps us safe."
Long says although the federal government refuses to recognize his son's murder as terrorism, which prevents his son and Ezeagwula from getting full benefits and honors, he hopes his state will step up.
"Theodore Roosevelt once said a man that is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards," said Long.
The bill unanimously passed committee and is scheduled to go before the full senate tomorrow.