Anyone convicted of murdering a criminal justice official would be put to death under a bill approved by the House.
Kill a cop or a prison guard or someone who works for the court or anyone in criminal justice and face execution. That is the meat of a bill approved in the House on a 109-to-35 vote.
Kansas City Representative John Burnett (D) says the death penalty statutes already take such factors into account and he says they seem to be working, because several people convicted of killing a police officer have been put to death. Current law requires at least one of 14 aggravating circumstances be part of a murder case for the accused to be eligible for the death penalty. Among those 14 listed: the killing of judicial officers or prosecutors; the killing of a police officer, corrections official or fireman; and the killing of a correctional employee.
Still, Sponsor Michael Parson (R-Bolivar) says his bill is needed. Parson says, "The people we’re talking about are the last line of defense for the people of this state. We need to do everything we can to protect them."
Parson says his bill adds emergency personnel and court personnel, who he says might be implied in current law, but aren’t spelled out like they would be under HCS HB 945 . The bill now heads to the Senate.