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Governor Wolf Signs Tierne’s Law, Urges Action on Domestic Violence Legislation (Round-up)

By: Governor’s Office of Communications

April 18, 2018

On Monday, Governor Wolf signed SB 449, also known as Tierne’s Law, sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta. This act amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and clarifies judges’ use of risk assessment tools when setting bail amounts to determine whether the perpetrators of domestic violence pose a continued danger to their victims.

By signing Tierne’s Law, Governor Wolf builds on his support for victims of domestic violence. On April 6, the governor asked State House leaders and committee chairs to send him a package of domestic violence reform bills that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate.

“I urge the House to pass a package of domestic bills, including Senate Bill 501, which would fix an arcane law that allows domestic abusers to have access to guns,” said Governor Wolf. “We know that many domestic abusers use firearms to harm their victims, as was the case with Tierne, who died from a gunshot wound inflicted by her abuser spouse.”

According to recent research, from 2009 to 2016 in the U.S., there were 156 mass shootings—incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed, not including the shooter. These incidents resulted in 1,187 victims shot: 848 people were shot and killed, and 339 people were shot and injured. The majority of mass shootings—54 percent of cases—were related to domestic or family violence.

To see the complete list of the Senate’s domestic violence legislation backed by Governor Wolf, click here.

Take a look at the coverage below:

  • Tribune-Democrat: Wolf signs law intended to stop abusers from becoming killers

    Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed Tierne’s Law, with a goal of giving victims of domestic violence additional protection.

    The law directs the state sentencing commission to develop an assessment tool for judges to use to determine if abusers pose a serious risk of new violence.

  • Associated Press: Wolf signs bill providing guidelines on domestic abuse bail

    A new Pennsylvania law is in place to help guide judges setting bail for defendants accused of domestic abuse. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed “Tierne’s Law,” letting county courts set guidelines for assessing whether a defendant in such cases poses a threat.

    The state sentencing commission will develop model pretrial risk assessment standards.

  • WNEP: ‘Tierne’s Law’ Increases Protection for Domestic Violence Victims

    Pennsylvania lawmakers have taken a step in increasing protections for victims of domestic violence. Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law which aims to strengthen bail requirements in domestic violence cases.

  • KYW Newsradio: Governor Wolf Signs ‘Risk Assessment’ Domestic Violence Bill

    Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed a bill intended to improve judges’ ability to evaluate the threat posed by defendants in domestic violence cases.

    Judges use ‘risk assessment’ tools – such as examining criminal backgrounds – when setting bail in domestic violence cases. Dubbed “Tierne’s Law,” in memory of a woman who was kidnapped and murdered by her estranged husband, the bill signed by Governor Wolf is intended to clarify and expand judges’ use of risk assessment.

  • WGAL: Governor signs bill strengthening protections for domestic violence victims

    Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence. Tierne’s Law allows judges to use risk assessment tools to determine whether the perpetrators pose a continued danger to their victims.

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