Nov. 19, 2019

HARRISBURG – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) today commended the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), for passing House Bill 1855 or Markie’s Law, which focuses on the parole process for violent offenders. This is in the wake of the recent murder of an 8-year-old child in Lawrence County.

Today, Bernstine and the family of Mark Edward Mason (Markie) also met with Gov. Tom Wolf, House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) and House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) about his legislation that would postpone consideration of a violent inmate’s parole until an addition 24 months following the inmate’s minimum release date for each conviction for a violent offense while incarcerated. The legislation would postpone consideration of an inmate’s parole an additional 12 months if the inmate attempts to escape, smuggles contraband, or retaliates against witnesses while incarcerated.

Keith Burley, the defendant charged with the brutal stabbing of the Lawrence County child, is a convicted murderer who was released from prison in March after serving 20 years in a robbery/shooting death. After serving his minimum sentence, Burley was arrested in early July in the stabbing death of 8-year-old Mark Edward Mason, whom he abducted in a car with his 7-year-old brother during a domestic dispute with the boys’ mother.

The Mason family met with House members and were introduced on the House floor by Turzai. The family commends the hard work of Bernstine to craft this commonsense legislation in hopes that this will not happen to another child.

Members of Markie’s family who were introduced on the House floor included:

• Maram Saada – Mother
• Mark Mason Sr. – Father
• Matthew Mason – Brother
• Kayla Mason – Stepmother
• Laquisha Lyles – Family friend

To view Rep. Bernstine’s comments following the Judiciary Committee meeting as well as comments from the family, click here.

Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell) /
Bernstine Announces Committee Passage of Bill to Prevent Violent Offenders from Early Release
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) invited the family of Mark Edward Mason to the state Capitol in Harrisburg. The family was introduced on the House floor by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai and also met Gov. Tom Wolf. Mark (Markie) Mason was fatally stabbed in July and Bernstine has introduced legislation which focuses on the parole process for violent offenders.