When President Donald Trump speaks before a joint session on Congress on Tuesday evening, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler wants him to propose legislation that would mandate public hangings for all convicted cop killers.
On Monday, Zeigler e-mailed a letter to Trump and to his own “inside contacts in the Trump administration” making the request which follows the killings of ten law enforcement officers nationally, with two in Alabama, in just the first month of 2019.
“It would be more of a deterrent to the killing of officers if would-be killers witnessed others hanging in the public square. Nothing else makes them think. Maybe hanging would,” Zeigler explained.
He continued, “We need an ‘express lane’ for executions such as Texas has – maybe stronger. We need to stop these 20- to 30-year delays in executions at taxpayer expense. Justice delayed is justice denied. These potential killers are not deterred by what may happen to them in 30 years. They are thinking of instant gratification in the next 30 minutes – or 30 seconds.”
Zeigler believes he’s on the same page as Trump on this issue. In a May 17 ceremony honoring fallen officers, Trump said: “We’re not going to let bad things happen to our police. We believe criminals who kill our police should get the death penalty.”
Nevertheless, Congress has yet to consider, much less pass, legislation on the death penalty for cop killers, and Zeigler says it should be a priority in the 116th Congress.
Federal law already has the death penalty for murdering a law enforcement office, if the officer was assisting in a federal investigation. Zeigler wants to see that expanded to include any law enforcement officer, which he says could be achieved with a one sentence amendment to 18 U.S. Code § 1121.
Read Zeigler’s letter to Trump below: