Delaware State Representative Sean Lynn has announced that he will strike an amendment he introduced that would have removed certain first responders and healthcare workers from the list of people who if assaulted, aggravates the crime to a violent felony.
Rep. Lynn came under fire Tuesday on the first day of session after many learned of his amendment to House Bill 144, legislation that strengthens felony assault charges to protect first responders and healthcare providers.
“Victims of a crime at the end of the day are all victims, regardless of their occupation,” Rep. Lynn said in a statement he issued on social media announcing that he would get rid of his controversial proposal.
“I still believe laws like House Bill 144 that create special classes of victims have no deterrent effect and have been found to be ineffective,” he stated. “There is an inherent inequity when it comes to victim-based statutory sentencing enhancements and I feel that our sentencing statute still does to be addressed. I have a fundamental issue with the assertion that crimes involving certain victims generate higher criminal consequences than other victims.”
Rep. Lynn was noticeably absent from Tuesday’s start to session in the House and repeated attempts for comment were unsuccessful.
The lawmaker’s statement was met with harsh criticism from many online.
One person wrote, “maybe the people who step up to help when no one else will deserve a little special protection.”
“First responders all have a higher chance of being exposed to the worst of the worst on the streets,” another person stated. “To say they’re just like any other victim is ludicrous.”
The Delaware Nurses Association was vocally opposed to the amendment long before many learned of it.
Moving forward, Rep. Sean Lynn said he will strike the amendment, meaning it will not be considered.
“I plan to strike House Amendment 1 to House Bill 144,” Rep. Lynn said. “I intended to start a conversation around sentence enhancements, and this amendment has achieved that goal.”