To the editor:

I am a student at Hanover College and have been learning about Laura’s Law in my political science class. I just recently heard that the bill was denied a hearing in the Indiana State House. According to Rep. Thomas Washburne, the bill was not a high enough priority to grant a hearing. I very strongly feel that any bill that has the potential to save lives should be given a priority. I urge the city of Madison to continue to fight for this bill. You can do so by writing to your elected official and asking them to request a new hearing.

Laura Russell’s death was a senseless act that could have been prevented. Laura’s husband had a history of domestic violence, and Laura had a no-contact order against him. When he violated that order five times, a motion was filed to have the husband arrested for stalking Laura. Unfortunately, that motion was delayed and ultimately led to her death the very next day. She went through all the right channels and took all the right steps, but the law failed her. I believe the legal system is broken and needs to be fixed.

This bill could prevent this situation from happening again. It would be protection for those who cannot protect themselves. One part of the bill states that anyone charged with a crime of domestic violence who violates a protective order would immediately be arrested and put in jail. This part of the bill alone could have possibly prevented Laura’s death. I urge the community of Madison to continue to fight for this bill and for future victims of domestic violence.

Austin Zapp