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Another Officer Shooting in Wash. May Lead To New Laws

Another Officer Shooting in Wash. May Lead To New Laws

(Stock Photo)

The AP via YellowBrix

December 27, 2009

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The murders of five police officers and this week’s shooting of two more have lawmakers thinking about more than a looming budget deficit as they prepare to return to the state capital in January.

A handful of bills sparked by the recent shootings have already been prefiled in advance of next month’s start of the 60-day legislative session, and more are expected.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has called on law-enforcement groups to meet next week to compile a list of potential changes to state law, policy or the state constitution, and to meet with her on Jan. 8. And one lawmaker already has a public hearing scheduled to discuss the circumstances surrounding one of the shootings.

“The bottom line is we owe it to our law enforcement personnel to do everything we can to make sure they’re safe and secure out there,” Gregoire said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

“When you have a tragedy of this magnitude, you’ve really got to be thoughtful, you’ve really got to be deliberate,” she said. “Your impulse is to just go enact legislation, but good intentions don’t necessarily bring about good results. So I defer to those who have boots on the ground.”

The rash of shootings began in October, when Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton was killed as he sat in his patrol car Halloween night. Christopher Monfort, 41, has been charged with aggravated first-degree murder in Brenton’s death.

Less than a month later, four Lakewood police officers were shot and killed at a coffee shop before their shift. After a two-day manhunt, suspect Maurice Clemmons was shot to death by a Seattle police officer.

After those shootings, Rep. Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, announced he was going to hold a public hearing to look into why Clemmons was out on the streets in the first place.

  • Bad_guys_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Why do so many people make this complicated. Make more laws? No! Enforce what we have.
    We need to stop being politically correct. We need to stop giving hard core crimminals 2nd chances and thirds and 4ths. I think probation needs to be more restricted. If you murder someone in cold blood, you will be executed. Rape a child Execute em. Stop trying to make laws that we have to arrest someone for and do all the paperwork and court apperances, just to see some fast,slick talking lawyer make the officer look bad or find some loop hole for his client. Guilty is Guilty. Stop trying to play politics with someones life. Enforce the law.

  • Car6_max50


    over 4 years ago


    hopefully everything works out for the best

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 4 years ago


    "Clemmons had a criminal history in both Washington and Arkansas. His 108-year prison sentence for armed robbery and other offenses was commuted by then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2000. Six days before the shooting, he had posted bail on charges of raping a child, a charge that could have potentially put him in prison for life under Washington state’s “three-strikes” law."

    In that case Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee should finish out the original prison term.....And why was the dirt bag allowed to post bail?

    "ACLU" American Communist Lawyers Union! Geez, we don't want to restrict people's rights, such as forcing everyone to stay inside for fear of being killed by repeat offenders of the laws of our country!

    As happened in Wasteington Debit Capital with the sniper attacks, are they dead yet?

    “Our concern would be measures that are proposals that sound tough, but in practice won’t do much to make us safer, but will restrict people’s rights,” he said.

    As far as budget more bullets and use them more often, reduce the criminal element before people like the HuckleBerry's of Arkansas can set them free.......

  • Hawaii_pics_164_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Ahmen 357magnum. Especially violent criminals. They are a whole different breed that needs to be forever removed from society.

  • Warrior_knight_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Judges, when is it enough??!! We don't need new laws we need to enforce the ones in existence. Fill the prisons and build more if necessary, it creates jobs in a down economy.

  • Justice-400_max50


    over 4 years ago


    It's good to see that they are trying to do something. I understand the position most people here take about harsher laws. Remember though that with harsher laws come more desperate criminals. We may achieve the opposite effect if this is gone about the wrong way. Regardless, something must be done.

  • Dont_tread_on_me_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Maverick85, i understand what you were saying, but i think you mis understood the statement i made. By "same crime same punishment", i ment whether you kill an LEO or a civilian the punishment should be the same.

  • American_flag_eagle_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I am in support for more strick laws for crimes against LEOs'. Here in NYS, we do not have the death penalty. A few years ago, Bucky Philips shot and killed NYS Troppers and said in court that he did not care how many he had to kill, because no matter how many he did, the punishment would be the same. This has to stop.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    I agree with all those who stated that legislation does need to change. And the court systems need to adhere to the punishments they administer rather than to probate and parole violent offenders. However, if I may get a tad Philosophical for a moment, rlh11bravo, your statement that we should administer the same punishment for the same crime sounds good but the simple fact is that most people who are willing to take a life place little value on their own. The "eye for an eye" mentality is inherently flawed in that suffering sustained by the victim cannot be duplicated or even placated. The amount of suffering and damage done to the life/lives of the victim(s) cannot be quantified and therefore cannot be compared to the potential suffering of the offender. It makes individuals feel good to say "execute the murderer" or " we should rape the rapist" (the later having not been mentioned in this forum in particular but others). The victim has every right to be upset, angry, and want even some small amount of vengence or "justice". ANd our justice system must and should do its best to see that as adequate a punishment as possible be given to the offender in every circumstance. As for your comment that any form of punishment other than [ I say same punishment for the same crime.] Anything else is unconstitutional. Again, I respectfully disagree. Punishment for crimes whether they are violent or not should be comparable to the crime in so far as severity is concerned. Whether a punishment is constitutional or not is a mute point. The constitution does not specify the requirements for administering punishments for criminal offenses but rather serves as a basis for our system of government and jsutice system. If we take the constitution to one of its more literal translations, then any punsihment regardless of the offense committed is unconstitutional because we would be depriving the offender to his/her right to the pursuit of happiness. [Now before those of you who have actually read this far in my post begin to think that I am some extremist liberal, I have no sympathy for those who break the law or for those individuals who place so little value on human life that they will walk into a restaurant and murder four LEO's in cold blood and believe murderers should be executed. I am just simply pointing out the flaw in the assumed logic of the "eye for an eye" way of thinking.]

  • Evil_max50


    over 4 years ago


    For DrewRich16. The shooting you are speaking of did not result in any officers being killed or injured.

  • Evil_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Actually WA does need new laws or at least amendments to existing laws. WA is on a point system as it applies to sentencing guidelines. Upon conviction a judge can only sentence based on how many points the convicted criminal has accrued.

  • Dont_tread_on_me_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I disagree with some statements posted here as well as other places that state harsher pumishments for attacks or killing LEO's. Why not harsher punishments on criminals who attack or kill just anyone? Murder is murder, whether you kill an LEO or you kill a civilian. Civilians don't face danger head on as LEO's do, but they also don't choose the time, place, and circumstance of their murder. I say same punishment for the same crime. Anything else is unconstitutional. I support the police and I support the Constitution, but if any person goes against the Constitution, then I cannot and WILL not support them.

  • Spartan_cops_max50


    over 4 years ago


    You got to be kidding me...............

  • Lakewood_pd_max50


    over 4 years ago


    We need more then new laws. Violent felons should stay locked up.

  • 082310163642_max50


    over 4 years ago


    We also need to look at the types of guns criminal are using. LEO have to fight crime with a hand gun while criminals use automatic guns like AK47. I think times have change and we need to change the way we do our training

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