‘Sam’s Law,’ named after WSU student, would strengthen penalties for hazing-related deaths

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Sam Martinez was weeks into his freshman year at Washington State University when he died following a fraternity party in November 2019.

The coroner determined the 19-year-old’s death was caused by alcohol poisoning. Police blamed hazing, determining fraternity members encouraged Martinez to drink what turned out to be a fatal amount of alcohol.

Martinez’s parents, Jolayne Houtz and Hector Martinez, pleaded with state lawmakers Thursday to strengthen the state’s anti-hazing laws with two proposed laws.

“My goal today is simple and urgent: to try to save a life for the one that was taken from us two years ago,”

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