|Okalhoma Governor Mary Fallin|
It has been a hard year for law enforcement in Oklahoma.
"In the state of Oklahoma this year alone we've had 4 officers die in the line of duty, 2 of which have been murdered by suspects in the last 90 days. 2 of them have been murdered in less than two months," said Jerad Lindsey, chairman of the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police.
Governor Mary Fallin has now signed into law the Blue Lives Matter in Oklahoma Act of 2017, which now ensures that it is a capital crime to kill a police officer. Not always the case before.
"That's a big part of the punishment is people have to understand what the outcomes are. Right now, it's a bit ambiguous in the law. Sometimes it is a capital offense to kill an officer in the line of duty, sometimes it's not," said Lindsey.
The bill now effectively turns it into a death sentence, offering either the option of the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
The original author of the bill, panhandle representative Casey Murdock says the bill makes it difficult to just get life in prison.
"I don't know that it'll increase our number of executions. My hope is that it reduces or has a deterrent factor, and reduces the number of officers we have murdered in the line of duty," said Lindsey.
This law doesn't just cover the officers on the street, but also in prisons. Corrections officers are also protected by the Blue Lives Matter Law.
The law goes into effect in November.
Source: KTUL news, May 9, 2017
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