Sunday, June 05, 2005

Raul Garcia-Gomez: No Death Penalty, No Life in Prison

Raul Garcia-Gomez killed an off-duty officer in Denver about a month ago. After being denied entry into a party where the officer, Donnie Young, was working, Garcia-Gomez got a gun, came back to the venue, and shot the Officer Young and Officer Bishop. After running from Colorado to California, and then back to his native Mexico, Garcia-Gomez was captured and will face extradition to face charges here in Colorado.

Good news, no? Not as much as I had originally thought, it turns out.

Tonight, I’m seeing news that Garcia-Gomez’s extradition is contingent on our DA signing away both the death penalty and life imprisonment for Garcia-Gomez. While the family of the murdered officer are happy that it looks like Garcia-Gomez will be coming back to Denver to face justice, and I bow to their judgment and will on the subject, I find myself unhappy about the deal. While a no death penalty deal wouldn’t have bothered me in the least (at least partially since I’m opposed to capital punishment), the idea that Garcia-Gomez, if prosecuted successfully, couldn’t face life imprisonment seems purely wrong.

His was no accidental murder; it was the intentional, petty, premeditated killing of a police officer. While no punishment can be meted out that makes the murder go away--Donnie Young, sadly, will never come back to his wife and family--this seems to be a clear situation where life imprisonment would be warranted. I’m disappointed that our friends to the south are willing to go this far in dictating punishment due a murderer who, in so many ways, abused the hospitality of America.

I’m hoping that the story that I’m hearing on FoxNews tonight is wrong.

For background.

Update: While Andy isn’t talking about the extradition deal, he does seem to have the same low opinion of Garcia-Gomez that I have.


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