Since Lauren’s death in 2016, her parents have used their grief as fuel to protect other children, advocating for tougher penalties in certain murder cases involving children, and today, they achieved their goal when Governor Greg Abbott put pen to paper.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to gather in the first place. Because the reason why I’m signing this piece of legislation is that unfortunately a precious life was lost in Texas,” Abbott said.
The precious life of 13-year-old Lauren Landavazo. Landavazo was gunned down by Kody Lott on her way home from school, and although her parents Vern and Bianka Landavazo could never bring her back, they are ensuring that she will always be remembered.
“I’m going to be signing Senate Bill 719, which is known as Lauren’s Law,” Abbott said.
Under current Texas law, an adult can be convicted of capital murder, and be eligible for the death penalty, if the victim is under 10 years of age. Lauren was just 13-years-old when she was murdered. Under Lauren’s Law, anyone convicted of murdering a victim between the ages of 10 to 14 could face a life sentence without parole, but not the death penalty.
“We’re just so proud that a loving, beautiful, giving person that our daughter was and the way that she was always trying to help others, we’re just so blessed that we have that kind of legacy to carry on,” Vern Landavazo said.
But they couldn’t get it done without tremendous support.
“Just so appreciative of Sen. Fallon and Rep. Franke and the now Governor Abbott in their part of making this a reality for protecting and providing justice to our most important asset that we have, our children,” Vern said.
“At the end of the day it’s about keeping Texas families safe and keeping children safe and about justice and I think that Lauren’s Law does move us a step closer to justice,” Fallon said.
A step closer to making sure Lauren’s legacy forever lives on.
Lauren’s Law will go into effect on September 1st of this year, one day before the third anniversary of Lauren’s death