WLBT, 3/16/8

She taught for years at Murrah and Central High Schools in Jackson and loved her job. In July 2006, long after she retired, Irene Breland was attacked as she walked out of her home. Beaten and robbed, Breland later died as a result of her injuries.

The offenders stole her purse, and used her credit card at a gas station. Now there’s a legislative bill designed to put some teeth into the punishment for such a crime.

“Robberies today are not just to get the cash out of your purse or wallet, it’s to get your ATM card, to get your credit card,” says Senator David Blount (D-Hinds County). Blount is one of five sponsors of Senate Bill 2712, or “Miss Breland’s Law”, which would impose stiffer penalties on those who commit the crime of identity theft during a violent crime. Those found guilty would serve an extra five years in prison. “I’ve been working closely with Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, Hinds County Sheriff’s Department. This bill is their idea. They deserve a lot of credit for it,” he says.