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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Lawmakers consider penalties for failing to call 911 when someone is in danger

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The Michigan Senate chamber. Democratic Party leaders will name a replacement tonight for their 20th district candidate.

State lawmakers are debating whether someone should face penalties if they fail to act when they know someone else is in danger.

A state Senate panel is holding hearings on the concept – but no bill has been introduced yet.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, says people should have a legal “duty to act” when they know someone faces serious injury or death.

“And I don’t mean jumping in the water and saving somebody. I mean calling 911,” said Jones.

“Four other states have that. We don’t have it here. So I’m going to poll other senators and see if it’s something they would support.”

Jones says he would support imposing heavy fines in those cases, but he stopped short of calling for jail time.