By The Associated Press
JACKSON — Mississippi lawmakers approved a bill to create the crime of attempted murder Tuesday.
House Bill 28 would make life in prison the maximum punishment for a conviction of attempted murder. The minimum penalty would be 20 years.
The current statute states that attempted crimes in general carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Authorities have not pursued charges of attempted murder because of uncertainty as to whether the crime existed in Mississippi. Aggravated assault and manslaughter have been used to address such cases.
Lawmakers have attempted to pass versions of the bill for several years.
The House and Senate agreed to a single version of the bill Tuesday. The bill goes to the Gov. Phil Bryant.