The following was submitted by Paul Graves, candidate for Contra Costa County District Attorney:
At a recent forum, a candidate for District Attorney stated that there should be no death penalty for those who kill our police officers. I completely reject this view.
The killing of any law enforcement officer is one of the most heinous crimes possible and therefore the death penalty should absolutely apply. These men and women put their lives on the line for us everyday, doing dangerous work to keep us all safe. Any attack on our law enforcement officers is an attack on the safety and security of us all.
There have been far too many funerals of fallen officers in our county during my career, from Pittsburg Officers Larry Lasater and Ray Giacomelli to Martinez Sergeant Paul Starzyk, Richmond Police Officer Brad Moody, and CHP Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, each of their deaths was profoundly felt by all of us prosecutors.
There should be no doubt that the death penalty should be available as punishment for those who would kill those who serve and protect our communities. As District Attorney, the residents of Contra Costa County can count on me to uphold this principle in defense of the safety of our officers and our public safety.