A state House Committee has sent to the floor the “Rebekah Bletsch Bill,” which would require that convicted criminals be required to listen to the victim impact statements given during sentencing hearings. Representative Holly Hughes of Montague sponsored the legislation after convicted killer Jeffrey Willis asked to go back to his cell rather than listen to the statements in Muskegon earlier this year.
“We want to make sure this helps with the healing process, but also that the victims’ rights supersede those of a murderer,” said Hughes.
The Bletch family was pleased to learn that a recording of their statements were played in the vehicle that transported Willis from Muskegon to a state prison in Jackson. The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office burned their statements on a CD, and Willis was forced to listen to it several times during the trip.