Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dog-fighting bill still alive

The fight to stop dog-fighting is still alive in the Mississippi legislature.  Senator Bob Dearing (D-Rosalie) introduced a bill that would toughen the penalties for dog-fighting.  Senator Barbara Blackmon (D-The Coliseum) charged up the hill to stop the bill but it passed the Senate.  However, the House watered down the bill's penalties and introduced tougher ones for subsequent offenses.  The bill now goes to a conference committee.

The currently penalty is a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 or a prison sentence from one to three years.  Senator Dearing's bill increases the maximum fine to $10,000 and the maximum prison sentence to ten years.  Status and copy of SB# 2934.



State Senator Barbara Blackmon fiercely attacked the bill as she loudly and repeatedly demanded to know why exploitation of the elderly had lesser penalties than dog-fighting (See video posted above.  Hill responds to her at 16:38.).  However, Senator Blackmon was comparing misdemeanor exploitation of the elderly (which involves theft) penalties to those for dog fighting.  Senator Angela Hill (R-Parts Unknown) sharply rebuked her (13:39) and said that physical abuse of the elderly carried prison sentences that were much more severe than dog-fighting. Senators Walter Michel and Michael Watson challenged her as well.  Senator Michel (R-Xanadu) even offered to co-sponsor legislation with Senator Blackmon that would toughen the penalties for elder abuse.

However, the penalties for physical abuse of an elderly person are tougher than those for dog penalties even if Senator Dearing has his way.  Section 43-47-19(3) of the Mississippi Code states:

(3) Any person who willfully inflicts physical pain or injury upon a vulnerable person shall be guilty of felonious abuse or battery, or both, of a vulnerable person and, upon conviction thereof, may be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not more than twenty (20) years.


SB# 2934 passed the Senate.  Seven Senators voted against the bill.  All seven opponents were members of the Black caucus.


The bill was sent to the House for consideration and referred to the Judiciary "B" Committee.  Representative Andy Gipson is the Chairman.  Mr. Gipson amended the bill after meeting with members of the Animal Humane Society.  His amendment increases the penalties for multiple offenses.  The amendment reduced the maximum fine to $5,000 and returned the prison sentence to the current term of three years on a first-offense conviction.  The  amendment increases the penalties for additional convictions:

"Upon conviction for a second offense, the person shall be guilty of a felony and punished by a fine of not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), nor more than Eight Thousand Dollars or by imprisonment for a term of not less than three (3) years, nor more than five (5) years, or both.  Upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, the person shall be guilty of a felony and punished by a fine of not less than Eight Thousand Dollars ($8,000.00), nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by imprisonment for a term of not less than five  years, nor more than ten (10) years, or both."
The amended bill passed the House but the Senate did not concur with the House version.  The bill was sent to the conference committee.  The conferees have not yet been selected.

Kingfish note: Here are the penalties for surrounding states.  As usual, Mississippi has the weakest laws.  Senator Dearing said this disparity encourage dog fighters to operate in Mississippi.  A different form of disparate impact and probably not the kind of disparate impact Senator Blackmon has in mind when that term is used. 

Louisiana: "shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars, or or be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both" (RS 14:102.5)
Alabama: Class C Felony.  Prison sentence is one to ten years. 
Arkansas: Class D Felony.  Maximum prison sentence is six years.  Maximum fine is $10,000.
Tennessee: Class E Felony. Maximum prison sentence if six years.  Maximum fine is $3,000.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are many who need protection back in Blackmon's stomping grounds. I'm talking about the perps, not the dogs.

Anonymous said...

For the sake of audiologists everywhere I hope somebody issued earplugs before she took to the podium.

Anonymous said...

So, all the people who support torturing and maiming dogs are Democratic members of the Black Caucus? Sounds like the GOP should highlight that in their campaigns this fall. Most black people I know, like most white people I know, love their dogs.

MAJ said...

They sure as hell better support the bill to stop this disgusting, evil activity.

Anonymous said...

Blackmon’s don’t want their family’s dog fighting business hurt.

Kingfish said...

It will be a shame if the bill dies because tougher bills were passed in both houses yet no agreement could be reached.

Anonymous said...

The Blackmons are corrupt as the day is long. Wonder who she is protecting? Let me be clear, the Blackmons follow the money and dog fighting in this state is a sick money maker for some. Also, very unfortunate that the other members of the Black Caucus follow so blindly, but then again, some things never change.
Thank you for keeping up with this very important topic, Kingfish.

Anonymous said...

Is Dogfighting part of this "underground economy" that Kali Akuno talked about on Russian TV? Is that why Blackmon wants to stop any toughening of the laws against it?

Anonymous said...

Connecting dots can be really, really simple. Her are the dots. Dogs. Canton. Madison County. Money. Blackmon. Votes.

And, 11:21, I'm sure most black people, as you say, love their dogs. But not quite as much as they love their democrat politicians.

Anonymous said...

Does she still think she was elected Lt. Guv? Did she ever concede?

Barbara needs to understand that the dog-fighting bill has nothing to do with elder abuse bill/legal status or any other issue status, other than those who fight and abuse dogs are also likely abusers of people as well. Each can and should be discussed both separately and together, but let this much needed animal abuse legislation work its way through the system without dragging in other issues that are detrimental to its passage! The argument for "black lives matter" (which I understand and support) can be used as a comparison. It does not mean that ALL lives don't matter. It is just that there is a need to emphasize black lives in that particular debate. Similarly, all cancer is bad, but you do not usually bring up pancreatic cancer during a Susan Komen breast cancer event, although pancreatic cancer is a terrible killer as well.

Anonymous said...

Sometime Sen. Blackmon can't resist a chance to grandstand about an issue which will showcase Mississippi's historic hypocrisy. If she didn't seize upon this issue the session might end before she got her chance. But Barbara, this ain't the one. If you would just be patient the Mississippi legislature will give you a piece of meat you and your crew can really chew on! Save your righteous indignation for another day.

Anonymous said...

All of the issues in this state, education, poverty, health issues and the list goes on of things that leave us at the bottom of almost every poll comparing states and our tax dollars are paying politicians to sit around and debate cats and dogs??? Great leadership Republicans.

Anonymous said...

3:35, you OBVIOUSLY don't have beloved pets, but are you Farm Bureau or a dogfighter?

Anonymous said...

Sure democrats love their dogs.

Apparently, the dogs they love the most are those that have ripped the throat out of someone else's beloved dog.

Anonymous said...

Someone above suggested this is simply Blackmon's attempt to capture the stage before the session ends. Not true. She's been fighting this bill for two months.

The question is why. The answer is simple.

Anonymous said...

Well, dogs are certainly more liberal than cats.

They are accepting of any humans who treat them kindly and care about the welfare of their entire pack. Gosh, they even serve the handicapped when they could be playing fetch. They and lick the wounds and try to bring comfort to those who are hurt.

Dogs are as " bleeding heart" as you can get.

Of course, you get dumb and vicious in every species.

Not everything is partisan though those who are brainwashed seem to think so these days.

Anonymous said...

"Your third grader is halfway to college." Really, he graduates high school in sixth grade?

Anonymous said...

5:33 Since you apparently stopped your own schooling before third grade let me explain it to you:

A third grader is usually nine years old. Most kids entering college are 18 years old.

Nine is "half" of 18. "Half" is well, I can't make it any simpler for you.

Every one of us who has a kid should start planning on college tuition in 18 years as soon as each kid is born.

As the t-shirt says: "I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you"

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