- Attorney Lawrence Strauss said last week that criminals who kill police officers should not get the death penalty because ‘it’s part of the risk [cops] take’
- He was speaking at a forum for the upcoming election for Contra Costa County District Attorney in California
- He received criticism by local police union presidents who called his statements ‘archaic’ and ‘extremely inappropriate’ and urged voters to not support him
- Strauss said he would support life sentences without the possibility of parole for cop killers and agrees with the death penalty for mass murderers
Attorney Lawrence Strauss said last week that criminals who kill police officers should not get the death penalty because ‘it’s part of the risk [cops] take’
A District Attorney candidate has received major backlash for saying criminals who kill cops do not deserve the death penalty because ‘it’s part of the risk [police officers] take.’
Attorney Lawrence Strauss made the controversial comments last week while at a forum for the upcoming election for Contra Costa County District Attorney in California.
Now he’s receiving criticism for his comments by local police union presidents who called his statements ‘archaic’ and ‘extremely inappropriate’.
‘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,’ Contra Costa County Sheriff Sgt Sean Welch, president of the agency’s officer union, said.
Sgt Welch urged voters to not support Strauss in the June District Attorney election and said his response ‘should have made it clear to anyone voting in the primary election that he should not even be on the ballot for district attorney’.
Strauss was responding to the question of if he would seek the death penalty against cop killers.
The attorney who had a private practice for 23 years responded: ‘I feel sorry for the officer. It’s part of the risk they take as being an officer of the law.’
According to Mercury News, Strauss gave the example of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing as a death penalty case he would support and said he does agree with life sentencing without the possibility of parole.
Officer Ben Therriault, president of the Richmond Police Officer’s Association, said Strauss is ‘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.
Two days following his comments, Strauss released a two-page letter explaining his stance.
He noted that he trained police officers as a Deputy Prosecutor in Hawaii and would stress ‘the need to be vigilant and to never let their guard down during traffic stops and other situations.’
‘When a police officer is shot, the perpetrator needs to be caught and brought to justice. The death penalty is always a controversial subject. There is no right or wrong position,’ Strauss wrote.
‘I have responded to many questionnaires that inquire whether or not I would seek to abolish the death penalty. My response is always the same: 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.’