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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 21, 2023 11:29 AM
From: Senator Mike Regan
To: All Senate members
Subject: Mandatory Death Sentence for Murder of a Police Officer
In the very near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would provide for a mandatory death sentence for any person over the age of 18 that is convicted of murdering a police officer. 
Unfortunately, in this Commonwealth we are seeing ever-increasing attacks on law enforcement that seem to never cease. Just this past weekend on February 18, 2023, another member of the law enforcement community was viciously gunned down and murdered.
Officer Christopher Fitzgerald of the Temple University Police Department was responding to a robbery when the assailant turned on him and shot him multiple times in the face, head, and torso and then attempted to rob him. Officer Fitzgerald was pronounced dead soon after, ending his watch at just 25 years old. Please, take the time to read about this fine young man, the son of a former Texas police chief, here.
It is time we show our police officers, those who serve and protect us, that we as elected officials stand with them during one of the most violent periods in our Commonwealth’s history.  Being a law enforcement officer today is more dangerous than ever before, and officers never know if they will return home.
Title 18 currently provides for either the death penalty or life imprisonment for the first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer. My legislation would eliminate the option for life imprisonment.
As a former member of law enforcement, I feel it is my obligation to offer this legislation.  It is my hope that taking this hardline approach will provide a proper deterrent to those who prey on and willfully murder the men and women who so bravely serve us.  Considering the important work that our police officers do in protecting Pennsylvania’s residents on a daily basis, this change in our criminal justice system is needed and overdue.  
It is also my hope that Governor Shapiro, who just two days before the murder of Officer Fitzgerald, announced that he would continue the policy of Governor Wolf and not issue any execution warrants during his term.  He has also called for the legislature to abolish the death penalty saying, "the outcome is irreversible”.
The murder of an innocent life – and in this case, a police officer – at the hands of a criminal is irreversible.  The Governor should consider those lives, the lives of the men and women who serve and protect, over the lives of those who murder.
Please join me in co-sponsoring and supporting this important piece of legislation.