DA Candidate: No Death Penalty For Cop Killers - It's 'Risk They Take'

Lawrence Strauss said he would not seek the death penalty in cases where a defendant murders a law enforcement officer.

Walnut Creek, CA – A California lawyer vying to become the next Contra Costa County District Attorney said that he would not seek the death penalty in cases where a defendant killed a police officer, because being murdered in the line of duty was “part of the risk” that accompanies careers in law enforcement.

Lawrence Strauss, who has been in private practice for 23 years, made his assertion during an Apr. 24 forum, after he and two other candidates running for the district attorney position were asked whether or not they would seek the death penalty in such cases, The Mercury News reported.

“I feel sorry for the officer,” Strauss conceded, as he argued that the death penalty should be reserved for situations like the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, not for the death of an individual officer.

“It’s part of the risk they take as being an officer of the law,” he said.

Strauss, who previously spent two years working as a prosecutor in Hawaii, said that he aimed to end “wealth-based disparities,” and wanted to promote policies “that aid undocumented communities,” The Mercury News reported.

He said he also wanted to end both the “war on drugs,” and “excessive sentences” for convicted criminals, according to The Mercury News.

Contra Costa County Sheriff Sergeant Sean Welch, who is also the agency’s officers’ union president, said Strauss’ comments were "extremely inappropriate” and “archaic.”

“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,” Sgt. Welch told The Mercury News. “Strauss’ performance...should have made it clear to anyone voting in the primary election that he should not even be on the ballot for district attorney.”

Richmond Police Officer’s Association president Officer Ben Therriault agreed, and said Strauss was “tone deaf” with regards to issues of public safety.

“The men and women in our profession don’t sign up to be hurt or killed, or [to] receive less justice than our fellow citizens we protect,” Officer Therriault said.

After being blasted by the law enforcement unions, Strauss released a statement thanking police for their service.

Defendants convicted of killing an individual law enforcement officer should be sentenced to life without parole, he reiterated in the statement.

Comments
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Lowglow
Lowglow

This is kind of like sending a soldier into a battle and telling him if he gets shot he will no longer be rescued or treated for his wound

StandingForTheBlue
StandingForTheBlue

I have taken that oath, Least Common. I’m sure glad it wasn’t you who responded when my sister was kidnapped and almost murdered, I’m glad it wasn’t you who responded when I had to call for protection from a crazed man going down out street. I’m glad it wasn’t you who were called when we had an active shooter down the block from us...but an off duty officer did.

StandingForTheBlue
StandingForTheBlue

I'm so very glad it was not you who responded when my sister was kidnapped and almost murdered. I’m glad it wasn’t you who responded to a shots fired call that came from a few blocks away from us, but an off duty policeman did. I’m glad it wasn’t you who responded when a toddler here was recently attacked by a pit bull. I imagine you standing off to one side saying how you aren’t obligated to do anything. Men and women dedicate their entire careers to protecting and serving the public, and they understand everything that entails. How do I have the gall to ask you anything? How do you have the gall to say you took that oath and didn’t have any obligations towards it? You may have taken that oath, but you didn’t serve anyone.

StandingForTheBlue
StandingForTheBlue

Hurt a policeman and the book should be thrown at you; kill a policeman and you should receive the death penalty.

StandingForTheBlue
StandingForTheBlue

yes. I have taken that oath, and I took it very seriously—did you? Of course you know you have just put a target on your back when you do so. To say ‘a few’ cops on this site have told you they have no obligation only says you’re listening to the wrong ones. The motto you read on almost every police car, ‘protect and serve’ would mean very little if not backed up by the men and women in those cars.

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