With violence against law enforcement officers making headlines on an almost weekly basis, the Republican legislators believe it is time to bring back the death penalty for the worst criminals.
“The statistics are alarming,” said Rep. Mitchell. “There have been 95 law enforcement fatalities so far this year, with 26 officers being shot and killed in the line of duty. We must do everything possible to support law enforcement and provide them with the tools necessary to prevent these despicable acts of violence. If you kill a police officer, you should get the death penalty.”
State Rep. John Cabello, Republican spokesperson on the House Judiciary – Criminal Law Committee, also serves as a Rockford Police Detective. Cabello introduced legislation earlier this year to reinstate the death penalty and create the Capital Crimes Litigation Act of 2015. Rep. Cabello filed the legislation in response to the most heinous crimes involved in first degree murder charges.
“We need a mechanism in place for the criminals who decide to commit a heinous act that results in a violent death,” said Rep. Cabello. “This legislation is aimed at combatting the worst of the worst. Criminals that decided to take the life of a first responder, child or multiple victims should face the most serious consequences for their actions.”
House Bill 4059 narrows the list for prosecutors seeking capital punishment for a convicted first degree murderer to the murder of a peace officer, correctional employee or fireman while performing his or her duties, multiple murders, murder of a child under the age of 12, murder committed on school grounds, and murder as a result of terrorism.
“Correctional officers interact with convicted murderers on a daily basis,” Rep. Mitchell added. “If a prisoner is already facing a life sentence, what is going to deter him from killing an officer who is protecting the public from these murderers? We believe the possibility of being executed would make these criminals think twice before attacking officers.”