LEWISBURG, Pa. -- A 'grotesque miscarriage of justice.' That's how Senator Pat Toomey describes the sentencing of Jessie Con-Ui, the inmate at the federal prison near Waymart was found guilty of murdering corrections officer Eric Williams in 2013
"This monster murdered Eric Williams and he has no penalty what-so-ever for having done so," says Republican Senator for Pennsylvania Pat Toomey.
That's why Senator Toomey and Congressman Tom Marino are pushing for a law named after Eric Williams. The corrections officer from Nanticoke was murdered on the job in 2013. But his killer avoided the death penalty when the jury at Con-Ui's trial could not reach a unanimous verdict on his sentence. All but one juror agreed on the death penalty and Con-Ui was given a second life sentence.
"As a result of this single juror refusing to agree with the others that the death penalty was appropriate the judge had no choice he had no additional penalty he could impose on this murderer," adds Toomey.
Now, these lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow prosecutors to bring in a second jury if the first cannot unanimously decide on the death penalty.
"So this is a way to bring an end to this for the family. This is a way to see that justice is sought," adds Representative Tom Marino of the 12th.
Eric's father, Don Williams talked about the toll on his family.
"Everything that my wife and I had been afraid of actually happened uh the things we learned the things we saw that happened to our son were the most traumatic things I can remember," says Don Williams.
Assistant D.A. Bruce DeSarro from Pike County helped write the legislation.
"It should be a unanimous decision, not just decided by one person permanently who may make that decision for perhaps an inappropriate reason," says First Assistant D.A. for Pike County Bruce DeSarro.
DeSarro says if the second jury cannot reach a unanimous decision as well then a life sentence will be given.
Congressman Marino tells Newswatch 16 his office and Senator Toomey's office are both making calls and sending letters to lawmakers to help get this legislation passed.