Eric's Law

Please support H.R. 3449 and S.529

“Eric Williams was a federal correctional officer and dedicated public servant who was violently murdered in 2013 during the course of his duties. His family, and his memory, deserve justice, and his killer, who was already serving a sentence for murder at the time he killed Officer Williams, deserves the death penalty. This bill will allow federal prosecutors to impanel a new jury in death penalty cases where the jury is hopelessly deadlocked, which is the rule governing every other federal criminal offense. This will allow for a final, definite decision in death penalty cases, which the families of victims deserve.”

Don Williams, President of Voice of J.O.E.

This is a sentencing reform bill that allows a new jury to be impaneled if the first jury does not reach a unanimous decision on the defendant’s sentence or punishment in a death penalty case.

In 2013, 34-year-old Eric Williams was working as a correctional officer at USP Canaan when he was savagely beaten and stabbed more than 200 times by an inmate who was already serving a life sentence.

A jury later found the inmate guilty of Eric’s murder, but because one out of 12 jurors voted against the death penalty, he faced no additional penalty for this heinous crime. Such a miscarriage of justice is intolerable in our legal system.

That's why we're leading the charge to ensure victims and their families have every opportunity to pursue the justice they deserve.

Eric’s Law resulted from the 2017 trial for the murder of Federal Corrections Officer Eric J. Williams which resulted in an 11 to 1 vote in favor of the death penalty; one opposed. One juror had the power to override the decision of eleven other jurors under our current system. The inmate who committed the murder was a gang assassin already doing life for another murder. His punishment was to be elevated to the status of a hero by fellow inmates while a target was painted on the backs of our corrections officers. We clearly sent the wrong message. There was a public outcry following this sentence.  

On one level, Eric’s Law is about correcting a serious flaw in the sentencing phase of a death penalty trial. But there is an even broader scope to this bill. It addresses one of many flaws in a judicial system whereby the rights of crime victims are seriously compromised in favor of the accused. Just ask any victim’s family that has been through a judicial process. Most feel they have been re-victimized. Therefore, we urge you not to dismiss taking action and having a dialogue on this bill, but rather look at it as an important step to protect the rights of those citizens our government is sworn to protect.  

Thank you,      

Letter Campaign by
Bettendorf , Iowa