A day after cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal addressed graduates of a Vermont college, a Pennsylvania House committee advanced a bill to give the family of the police officer he was convicted of killing a way to shut him up.
The bill, believed to be the first of its kind, would let crime victims or their relatives seek injunctive relief if the criminals that harmed them seek publicity from the crime in any way, Philly.com reports.
Rep. Mike Vereb (R., Montgomery) called it unconscionable that Abu-Jamal - serving life for the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia officer Daniel Faulkner - could get national exposure with a "taxpayer-funded rant."
"The words of the victims should be louder than the criminals who sit behind concrete and steel," said Vereb. He drafted the bill after revelations that Goddard College invited Abu-Jamal to speak to graduates Sunday in prerecorded remarks.
The full House could vote on the bill as soon as Wednesday. The governor has expressed support.
The ACLU says the bill could restrict free speech rights of all felons - even those who have paid their dues.