Friday, March 25, 2011

House Bill 3546 "Kari's Law"

Diligent. Steadfast. Resolute. Gutsy. Wise. Loving.

While these words are often used to describe Kari's loving and dedicated family, today I am using these words to describe Tom and Jan Purdy. It is because of their deep love, amazing efforts and heartfelt tenacity over the last year, that House Bill 3546 has been introduced to the Texas House of Representatives' floor.

You may not recognize the bill by the name of House Bill 3546 so let's call it by its original name......."Kari's Law." Our Texas House Representative, Charles "Doc" Anderson, of McLennan County has introduced House Bill 3546 to the floor.

There was an editorial in the Waco Tribune Herald on Wednesday, March 23 titled "EDITORIAL: Giving greater meaning to Kari Baker's life and death is now up to state legislators." I can't link it because I don't have a paid subscription to view online. But a couple great points on there:

The Purdys based their uphill campaign on a 2010 story by then-Tribune-Herald staff writer Erin Quinn about how local justices of the peacehave sole discretion on whether to order autopsies, even if they lack credentials to know better. JPs get about six hours of training in determining the causes and circumstances in a death — hardly reassuring.


We remember seeing bumper stickers on cars and trucks at Matt Baker’s January 2010 trial: “Justice for Kari.” However, if the wisdom behind this bumper sticker isn’t embraced by Texans for the benefit of other victims and their families, we will have sold justice short. “If this need isn’t met, something like this could happen again,” Tom Purdy told us this week. “It is too easy to commit murder, make it look like suicide and get away with it.”

And from the blog Central Texas Personal Injury Trial Lawyers, comes the following info:

Texas law at that time stated that an “inquest meant an investigation into the cause and circumstances of the death…, and a determination, made with or without a formal court hearing, as to whether the death was caused by an unlawful act.” Texas Code of Crim. Pro §49.01. Moreover, a justice of the peace could conduct the “inquest…at any other place determined to be reasonable by the justice.”

In the Baker case, this meant that the presiding justice of the peace was able to investigate Kari Baker’s death and determine the cause via a late night phone call from the responding police officers without getting out of bed. Finally, a justice of the peace had the sole discretion of whether to order an autopsy. Texas Code of Crim.
Pro §49.10.

With all of the other duties of a justice of the peace –performing marriages, issuing warrants, setting bail, conducting criminal and civil trials-it seems that determining death is one duty that should be void of discretion and ultimately up to a medical professional. Accordingly, this Bill and its author are worthy of support.
AMEN!!!'re sitting there asking, "What can I do to help?" Glad you asked. If you live in Texas, you can call your representatives and voice your support. A simple, quick phone call saying, "My name is ______ _______ and I live in ______, TX. I want to voice my support of House Bill 3546." They note it AND IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

The Waco Tribune Herald editorial lists our representatives for us in McLennan County to call.
State Representative Charles "Doc" Anderson, R-Waco:
House District 56
Capitol Office: EXT E2.502
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0135
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910Austin, TX 78768
District Address: 900 Austin Avenue, Suite 804Waco TX 76701
Phone: (254) 754-3892

State Representative Marva Beck, R-Centerville:
House District 57
Capitol Office: EXT E1.310
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0508
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910Austin, TX 78768
District Address: P.O. Box 2910Austin TX 78768

Senator Brian Birdwell, R-Grandbury:
Senate District 22
Capitol Office: EXT E1.708
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0122
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station Austin, TX 78711
District Address: 900 Austin Ave, Suite 500Waco TX 76701
Phone: (254) 772-6225

If you live in Texas, you can look up your representative's contact info at the Texas Legislature Online. Look about half way down on the right, blue box and put your address in and it will give you the names and contact info of your representatives. If you can, take 5 minutes to make a couple quick calls. They need to know this is a very, very important bill to their constituents.

It looks like there's a way on the TLO site that you can track a bill. I'll find out how and post that here for you all so you can keep up to date on this bill on its way to becoming law!


Carole said...

Awesome! I pledge to call mine first thing in the morning!

Sadie said...

This is wonderful!

Love the way you presented this news about "Kari's Law," Shannon. God Bless the Purdys for all they have done to get this introduced to our legislature.

Count me in and solidly behind all those who support this bill. It will honor Kari's memory by saving lives and bringing justice to victims. This law is all about shining the light of TRUTH, to prevent and expose the dark deeds of evildoers and murderers.

"Diligent. Steadfast. Resolute. Gutsy. Wise. Loving."

That was Kari, and that is her family. Kari's memory and her story have spread far and wide, which is a tremendous testament to love and faith.

I will be praying with you all for the passage of "Kari's Law."

And I will not stop praying for her daughters to be brought home where they belong.

News said...

While this was not the news I had hoped for, the girls home with the Dulin's this is indeed good news and another small piece of justice for Kari here on earth.
I hope you don't mind me sharing this with another forum :-) but you did a great job on this post and the information on what to do. So, if I move to Texas for a day or a week, can I call too?
You know, the can call it House Bill 3546 or anything they want (we know the origin and the honor!) as long as it is passed and people call!
I am humbled and proud of whomever the Purdy's are that they have not given up on Kari, change and follow through. If I ever get to Texas - I hope to meet you all (lol - do you all meet random bloggers! Oh well, sounds neat!) but seriously, you, the Dulins, the Purdy's, the attorneys, the list goes on and on even including the intelligent posters here and other places --- I am in awe of what wonderful people I am aware of because of Kari. I can't help but know Kari was a refection of them all.

Please let us know if you hear anything on the custody case -- that will be the day I really celebrate as I am sure that is what Kari (a true mother) would want more than anything else at this point. To know her babies are okay and can't be harmed by anyone or their influence.
Thank you for keeping this updated as the media articles have gone quiet and Waco Trib cut us non Texan's off.