The Mercenary Rioter Act made its way through legislation in Tennessee. Representative Bryan Terry of Murfreesboro explains his bill…
House Bill 881 increases the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated rioting to 60 days in jail, if the person commits more than one aggravating circumstance.
Under present law, a person commits the Class E felony offense of aggravated riot who:
(1) Knowingly participates in a riot; and
(2) As a result of the riot a person other than one of the participants suffers bodily injury or substantial property damage occurs.
A conviction for aggravated riot carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 days incarceration and the court must order restitution for any injury, property damage, or loss incurred as a result of the offense.
This bill adds that a person also commits the Class E felony offense of aggravated riot who knowingly participates in a riot and:
(1) Traveled from outside the state with intent to commit a criminal offense; or
(2) Participates in a riot in exchange for compensation.
This bill also increases the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated riot from 45 days to 60 days when a person knowingly participates in a riot and also engaged in conduct that constitutes two or more of the other elements of the offense.
ON MARCH 11, 2021, THE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT #1, AND PASSED SENATE BILL 451, AS AMENDED.
AMENDMENT #1 adds a severability clause to this bill.