Graves: Death Penalty Should Apply to Cop Killers


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.


  1. The killing of any law enforcement officer is one of the most heinous crimes possible.

    OK…and killing others is not?

  2. Anyone should be eligible for the death penalty – as long as they meet the criteria. Cop killers and other killers.

    Which candidate made that statement? What an idiot.

  3. What a joke. California does not use the death penalty. Start using it and there will be less murders period.

  4. In CA, if you get the death penalty you get life in prison and the death penalty. You’ll sit on death row 20 years or more. I support the death penalty (for all killers) but it’s not a deterrent. People kill because they can, and NOTHING will stop them.

  5. Should apply to all killers!!!
    To bad California is afraid to use it.

  6. Agree with Nick completely. The death penalty right now is just filling up our prisons and no one is being punished. And I understand those DP cases that are waiting live far better than the general population. That isn’t right.

  7. So? Either way if they get the death penalty and sit around for 20 years, they are STILL costing the taxpayer and that’s just wrong! They should have TWO appeals and then that’s it. As for the DP being deterrent, if they are locked up awaiting execution, they cannot kill anyone. I think they should be executed in the same manner they murdered their victim.

  8. Of course cop killers should recieve death penalty, as should molesters, etc. But this state needs to fix its appeals system first and we all know thats not going to happen. This is a state for lazy people and criminals to thrive. EBT for the losers that dont want to work and the criminals know if they commit a crime, it will just be a slap on the wrist.

  9. A young Officer Oscar Espinoza was shot point blank while sitting in his patrol car in San Francisco, the San Francisco DA opposes the death penalty so the killer will could some day see the streets again. That DA went on to become A US Senator Who is now endorsing the other jerk off who helped destroy San Francisco yes the DA Kamala Harris endorsed Gavin ” screw my FRIENDS wife” Newsom for governor, if he dose for California what he did for San Francisco we will all be sorry.

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