The "Max Gruver Act" nears final approval

David Blake
April 24, 2018 - 12:25 pm

A bill to make hazing a felony is advancing through the state legislature. The Max Gruver Act, inspired by the death of a 19-year-old LSU student by the same name, received approval this morning from a state senate judiciary committee.

There has been scarce if any opposition to the bill as it makes its way through the halls of the state capitol.

Penalties for a hazing death would go up to a maximum $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison. The bill also increases punishment for hazing instances that don't necessarily end in tragedy.

''It does list act of physical brutality that would qualify as hazing," explained Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino. "Things like whipping, paddling and branding -- those sorts of activities which some fraternal organizations have engaged in.

''In order to be hazing, it's got to result in or adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual or cause severe emotional distress,'' Ciolino said. 

Gruver's parents, RaeAnn and Stephen, have traveled from their home in Roswell, Georgia, to the Louisiana capitol for each vote on the bill during this legislative session.

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