An attorney who wants to be the district attorney for California’s Contra Costa County does not believe all cop killers deserve the death penalty, according to Fox News.
During a candidates forum Tuesday, attorney Lawrence Strauss said an individual who kills a single police officer should not have to face the death penalty, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
“I feel sorry for the officer. It’s part of the risk they take as being an officer of the law,” said Strauss, who added that the death of an officer impacts “a nationwide network of police officers.”
Representatives of police unions condemned the comment.
“Law enforcement officers are hired to ensure the public’s safety and enforce the constitution and laws of the state. We are not pawns for a brutal dictator,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff Sgt. Sean Welch, president of the union.
“Strauss’ performance last night should have made it clear to anyone voting in the primary election that he should not even be on the ballot for district attorney,” he said.
Attorney Lawrence Strauss should withdraw his candidacy. The citizens of California voted to keep the death penalty but to Strauss cop killers should get a pass. https://t.co/NkanBxf3gv
— Richmond POA (@RichmondCaPOA) April 28, 2018
Officer Ben Therriault, president of the Richmond, California, Police Officers Association, said Strauss was “tone-deaf” in regards to public safety.
“The men and women in our profession don’t sign up to be hurt or killed or receive less justice than our fellow citizens we protect,” Therriault said.
Strauss later issued a statement in response to the criticism that was published by the East Bay Times.
In the statement, Strauss said he stood by law enforcement officers for their service, then again said being killed is a risk of the job.
He said individuals who shoot officers should be caught but they should not be executed.
“The death penalty is always a controversial subject. There is no right or wrong position. Most of the industrialized world has abolished the death penalty. The United States is the leader in seeking the death penalty,” the statement said.
Strauss said there are some circumstances where the death penalty could be valid.
“I believe that the death penalty should only be sought in mass murders, serial killers, and multiple victims. There is no redemption for these psychopathic criminals,” he wrote.
After a discussion of how offenders can change during incarceration, he revealed what he felt should be the right punishment for someone who kills one police officer.
“The preceding is not to say that a criminal who kills a single police officer should receive a life sentence with the possibility of parole. … To the contrary, the default position when a criminal murders a single police officer with no other victims should be life without the possibility of parole,” he wrote.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.