House Panel Approves State Terrorism Measure

Feb 22, 2018


Legislation to create a terrorism definition in Kentucky law continues to move through the general assembly.  Members of the House Judiciary Committee easily approved the measure Wednesday.

Bill sponsor, Senator Max Wise, was asked if such a definition didn’t already exist in federal law. “There’s not a universal of terrorism.  Every single agency defines terrorism by what they think is best for them, for prosecution purposes.”

A major provision in Senate Bill 57 would allow a person injured by terrorism to file a state civil claim against the terrorist or terrorist organization. 

Rebecca Ballard Diloreto with the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers expressed concern about the bill.  “It could be then just as likely that once this bill is passed, if you have the wrong people in the White House or the wrong people running the FBI or the Department of Justice, then they will just defer to us, Kentucky, and refuse to take up the expense of litigating this kind of case,” noted Ballard Diloreto.


The bill was amended in the House committee to remove reference to a capital offense. It establishes the state crime of terrorism punishable by life without possibility of probation or parole.