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. 1-50
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.

StandingForTheBlue
StandingForTheBlue

Service members do not go after the people who make our streets unsafe, sell drugs, abuse children, and keep where you live a safer place to be. Policemen do. Anyone who murders a policeman should automatically receive the death sentence. Harm a police dog, your butt gets buried under the jail.

StandingForTheBlue
StandingForTheBlue

You apparently have either never served yourself and don’t know anyone else who has. Nowhere in the oath one takes to serve or police does it say it’s a given they will have to assume they are going to die. What’s sad is that they take an oath to protect fools like you, who don’t give a crap.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@StandingForTheBlue
First off, police are under no obligation to protect anyone, as has been said by a few cops on this site.

And if you become a cop and don't expect an increased rate of violence, then you have an astoundingly unaware existence.

And let me ask you, have you taken an oath and performed civil service? I have. If you haven't, what exactly gives you the gall to question someone about giving a crap?

USMMChris
USMMChris

Death penalty should be mandatory for killing a cop, bottom line.

Besides, I'm sure cops will tell you, part of the reason we have so many shitbags out n about these days is because they don't fear the consequences or have to deal with consequences for what they say/do.

JBo
JBo

California again, huh?

Tex46
Tex46

California....what a surprise!

Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

Regardless of what's been said on this site, cops do have an obligation to protect. And they do, every day. And just because a cop's job is inherently occasionally violent, that in no way mitigates the severity of the crime. I don't know what oath you took for "civil service", but if you're a cop, your agency, your municipality, and policing in general is that much poorer for it.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Officer Cynical
They absolutely do not have any obligation to protect anyone. Don't be fooled. Most do because it's their implied duty, but there is no legal imperative for a cop to protect anyone. I'd be happy to read any literature you have to support your stance.

Bren_PD
Bren_PD

I don't know what state you live in, but if an officer here in NJ does not act to stop someone from being injured or killed, he may not be charged federally, but may face state charges of malfeasance, conduct unbecoming of an officer, Official Misconduct.

TheEltee
TheEltee

Dimwit!

chiefd
chiefd

So you took an oath to perform a civil service. What was that civil service? It obviously wasn't as a patrol officer with a police department, probably not even a jailer. I personally worked for 6 different departments, moving up the ladder to chief of police with the last one (and one before that). Since I took that oath, to protect and to serve (notice, I said protect?) I did so to the best of my ability. I never signed up to be shot or assaulted or killed. Yes, I was the victim of several assaults with a deadly weapon, but, survived and continued my career. Please don't judge a cop, unless you have put on his shoes and walked his beat.

stopthebs
stopthebs

people like this moron have no right to run for public office. Have they even checked to see of there's any lights on upstairs?? jackass!

chiefd
chiefd

@stopthebs. I agree. He's as bad as that DA in Florida who thegovener

chiefd
chiefd

For some reason I was unable to correct the typo above. What I was saying is he is as bad as the DA the governor or Florida would not let try capital murder cases after she came out saying she would not seek the death penalty.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I think if there was a nationwide blue flu epidemic people/DA's/idiot mayors would change their tune.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

Someone should show this dumb ass a police officer’s civil service job description. No where in it does it say get assaulted or get killed. That is not part of the job!!! Being a cop does not makes you a second class citizen nor does the law say that attackers/criminals will not be prosecuted the same if they attack police officers as opposed to civilians.
He should be part of that new country those ignorant fools on the west coast want to start. Maybe he can defend those vigilante church groups in Oakland who are going to police themselves. Someone should check the water supply in California because all of those people are truly loosing their minds!!!! Oh an Californians, please don’t ever move out of that state because no one wants crazies to move into their states.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@RunCop
Just so you're clear, I'm taking this as a threat.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@chiefd
Navy. And the article i linked states differently.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@NTPD935Ret
A higher inherent risk is expected of you're a cop. It's inherent, meaning its not written down.

Again, nothing you're saying warrants increased punishment for murder of a cop.

Marxest
Marxest

Punishing the murderers of Police Officers shouldn't automatically include the death penalty. Police aren't some endangered group that needs protection. Police carry guns for christ's sake. I'm against the death penalty in general. Not because the death penalty is inhumane, rather the death penalty is not inhumane enough. It's way more punishing for the offender to waste away in prison. Prison rots your soul and degrades the person into an animal. Constant confinement, shitty food,no liquor, no women, no family will break you in the long run. Everyday locked in a cage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and no women to confide and take comfort in. Shitting in the room you sleep in and perpetually stuck in your own filth. Serving a life sentence in PRISON is the worse thing for a prisoner. Let the Prison do it's work which is to breaks you and then kill you slowly.

@RunCop needs to die slowly in some freak car accident.

Psyphex
Psyphex

You said Navy, so I am assuming that you're a Navy Veteran...So if a Ship sinks, whether it's in the midst of combat or not, then we shouldn't recognize the sacrifice of those Sailors because drowning and a sinking ship is part of the inherent risk? What it if was intentionally sunk while at the berth like the USS Arizona was in 1941 or the USS Cole in the 90's, are you saying that the US shouldn't have went to war or even dared remember the names of the sailors on that ship?

When did a human life become expendable devalued based upon the profession that was chosen by that person? Our Law enforcement personnel chose to do the one thing that every armed service member chose to do, but on a small more local scale.. and chose a job that most cannot be bothered with because it impedes their life. If killing a cop doesn't warrant the death penalty (and it should) then ultimately what good is the law since they are imbued by the public to enforce it?

This DA candidate basically allows for open season on cops, not only that he holds a cops life as being worth less than the average citizen. That's dangerous A sailor like yourself or a Cop is NOT a second class citizen simply because the inherent risk to the profession. If you think it is then I suggest you surrender whatever rate you had any any awards you may have earned, because you were just doing your job,and those items are not inherent to the profession.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Psyphex you should calm down. when did i say there should be no penalties? Where are you reading that I said that? Re-read what I said and stop imagining what you thought I said, snowflake. There should be no INCREASED penalty for killing a cop. Murder sentencing is already in place, and there is no need for increased penalty.

Instead of getting all righteous and adding words to my statement, reply to what I actually said.

Oh, and I didn't have a rate. I'm an officer.

darrelmac
darrelmac

Seriously, he is looking to be the top law enforcement representative in the state and has no plan to enforce the death penalty on those who shot and kill any police officer as it is part of their job. the death penalty is the only true methods to send a message to those who kill a police officer.

Mrs10
Mrs10

This is not about the merits of need for TOUGHER sentences for those who murder cops.

It’s about a potential D.A. who wants to pick and choose which murders qualify for the maximum sentence allowable in his state.

If California has a death penalty statute for capital crimes, that punishment should be equally considered in all cases where it is applicable.

For this candidate say that the death penalty should NOT apply to cases of convicted murderers of cops is for him to infuse a personal and political motivation into which legal recourses should be upheld or discarded. That can be a very dangerous thing.

John-Brown
John-Brown

It is not a threat Highest_Retard. No more so than YOU wishing death on people as you frequently do.

gfc1963
gfc1963

So a cop shiould not get charged for shooting and killing a criminal as it's part of the 'job' of being a criminal? It can't work both ways.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Just so you know all criminal penalties are enhanced when you commit a crime against a police officer. In other words a misdemeanor becomes a felony if the victim is an officer. That's the way it works in the state that I worked in and I'm pretty sure that's also the way it works in most other states (probably not California because as we all know you all aren't normal).

Florence 1946
Florence 1946

Death penalty for fat dumbasses

BrownKnight
BrownKnight

Well, if I was a dead cop,.......I can't do may job very well, can I? That job is to protect and serve. To accomplish that I trained to stay alive, I trained to use the law appropriatly, I train to gain knowledge. I trained to be ethical. No one teaches me how to die. "Tone deaf" is an accurate decision for this candidate who, by his own words, chooses to apply his own liberal values and agenda. My brothers and sisters out there are not sacrificial lambs for your social expieriment. DA's are the attorneys for the public and the victim, not the defendants attorney. Not all states have enhanced penalties. If your state does, you are obligated to enforce it. I am from Oregon, who has a liberal governor that does NOT follow the law nor the voters will.

Ladyfluterby
Ladyfluterby

If figures this idiot and his jackass comment comes from the liberal left coast of California.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@gfc1963
You've proven yourself unable to comprehend English plenty times before, so this his not surprising.

Where did i say that there shouldn't be a charge, Flounder?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Ladyfluterby
Don't you have a customer service representative's day to ruin somewhere, you silly bitch?

jamesor1
jamesor1

I guess no one should be given the death penalty. Like for any victim. Does that mean by living here we accept that as just "part of the risk" for being an American citizen? Where the murder rate is so high. Like it goes with the territory.........j

caligirl22
caligirl22

Anyone who quotes Marx as a good thing is a complete idiot.

caligirl22
caligirl22

Tex46, Let's talk about Austin where the University wants to make masculinity a mental disorder. Contra Costa County would never elect this knob. Maybe Alameda or SF, but not Contra Costa.

gfc1963
gfc1963

What are you on about muppet? You make me laugh mate.

Dr Shoe
Dr Shoe

Oh Yeah , if there's one thing Commiefornia (and America for that matter) needs, it's another Leftwing, Bleeding Heart, Liberal Idiot DA!

61mouse
61mouse

I would say all depends how they died if they were ambushed yes death penalty, if not life in prison without parole.Which being on death row is the same as life in prison seeing it takes years of taxpayers money to put them to death

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@gfc1963
Don't be a White Knight, I'm sure she can stick up for herself.

Unless you've gotten laid by women you've saved on the internet. In that case, please proceed.

LMG1953
LMG1953

They should be death, regardless if they are mentally. BUTTT under a year. Death penalty today is bullshit