Incumbent Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D-1) and running mate Bruce Land joined their GOP rival Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (R-1) in praising a bill that would suspend New Jersey’s 2007 ban on capital punishment in homicide cases where police officers are killed.
Citing the recent killings of officers in Illinois and Texas, Fiocchi said Wednesday that the bill would be necessary to ensure that those responsible in such murders see retribution.
“Communities are in shock and families are emotionally scarred at the indefensible actions of individuals with such little respect for life,” said Fiocchi in a statement. “These senseless acts must stop and reinstating capital punishment for those found guilty will suffer the appropriate consequences under this bill.”
On Thursday, Andrzejczak and Land issued statements saying that they will also be supporting the bill.
“The men and women who put on a badge every day to protect our communities need to know our laws are squarely behind them. Any coward who would target and murder a cop simply for wearing that badge should face the death penalty,” said Andrzejczak.
“As a retired captain in the Department of Corrections who saw first-hand the absolute disregard violent offenders hold for life, this issue strikes home. I would not hesitate to support this measure as a means of protecting those who protect the public’s safety,” said Land.
Although the nation’s overall murder rate has seen an uptick this summer and eight officers have been killed in the last ten days, a group that tracks officer deaths says that killings of officers have not increased.
The Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Steve Groeninger told the AP that such murders were “down 13 percent compared with the same January-to-September period in 2014.”