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Louisiana House passes bill toughening hazing penalties

April 2, 2018

Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver sit in a House committee room behind a photo of their son, 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver, a Louisiana State University freshman who died with a blood-alcohol content six times higher than the legal limit for driving in what authorities say was a hazing incident, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. The Gruvers spoke to the House criminal justice committee in support of a bill to toughen Louisiana's hazing laws. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Hazing that kills someone is closer to becoming a felony crime in Louisiana as a proposal to strengthen the penalty sailed through the state House.

Rep. Nancy Landry’s bill was backed 87-0 Monday, followed by a round of applause.

The Lafayette Republican’s proposal would make hazing that kills someone punishable by up to five years in prison. State law currently treats hazing as a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to 30 days in jail.

Landry’s bill is supported by parents of 18-year-old Louisiana State University freshman Maxwell Gruver. He died in September with a blood-alcohol limit six times higher than the legal limit for driving after an alleged hazing ritual.

Four people were charged in Gruver’s death.

The bill heads to the Senate.


House Bill 78: www.legis.la.gov

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