Mr. Speaker, on July 7, 2016, while a demonstration was taking place in Dallas, Texas, and police officers were protecting the demonstrators, a sniper rang out shots. After the smoke cleared, five Dallas police officers were murdered, seven others were wounded, and civilians were wounded.
The culprit was finally apprehended, and, because he would not give up without shooting, he was killed by the Dallas Police Department. Ambush on police officers by citizens increased, for some reason, last year.
Locally, in Houston, Texas, Chief Deputy Constable Clint Greenwood, a friend of mine, was walking into the courthouse at 7 a.m.; and as he is walking into the courthouse, a person comes up behind him and assassinates him, and he is killed. And that criminal was captured.
Attacks on law enforcement and all of the people that I mentioned were local or State police officers. They were not Federal officers.
Now, we talk about discrimination. Why does Federal law discriminate in punishment of outlaws in these type of death penalty situations by not allowing the same punishment if the person is a local or State police officer instead of a Federal police officer?
I think that is wrong. As stated by the other side, most cases are made by State or local officers, especially crimes of violence.
What this bill does is not discriminate against police officers who are local or State because of their status in a death penalty case where an outlaw is charged with a capital offense, but it allows the outlaw to get the same punishment that an outlaw would get if they killed a Federal officer, which is the death penalty.
As a former judge for 22 years in criminal courts and a prosecutor, I believe in the death penalty, and here is the reason why: Some people deserve it. They deserve it for what they did, and that is why society should have the death penalty.
And that is just the way it is.