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.

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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.

No. 26-50
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.