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 (63)
No. 1-25
butterfly
butterfly

Anyone left in CA whether citizen, legal immigrant or illegal immigrant is facing a dangerous & disastrous life if they keep voting into office these mad power freaks who would rejoice at your death regardless if you are the Police or victim!

RetFF
RetFF

“It’s part of the risk they take as being an officer of the law,” he said. And being shot dead by the police is part of the risk they take by being a criminal (and stupid) and attempting to kill a police officer.

denotlan
denotlan

This little twinkle toes cocksucker

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

He's not wrong. Increased risk of death is assumed if you're going to be a cop. Just like if you were joining the military. And there aren't increased penalties for killing a service member, so why should there be one for cops?

dfnizzi
dfnizzi

Because soldiers go to war to purposely kill our enemies. Police officers go to work to protect our citizens. An attack on our police is an attack on our law enforcement.