NJ State Sen. Robert W. Singer is drafting legislation that would allow the death penalty to be imposed for the murder of an on-duty law enforcement officer.
The announcement comes less than a week after Lakewood Police Officer Christopher Matlosz was shot three times at close range after he stopped to question a Lakewood resident. Authorities have charged Jahmell W. Crockam, with the murder of Matlosz, 27.
“Life in prison isn’t good enough” punishment for such a crime, said Singer, R-Ocean, a former Lakewood Township committeeman.
Singer’s proposed legislation would also allow the death penalty for the murder of a child and for the commission of a terrorist attack that results in fatalities, he said.
State Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth, said Wednesday that she, too, favors bringing back the death penalty for certain “heinous offenses” such as the killing of a police officer.
Both Singer and Beck opposed the repeal of the death penalty, which was abolished in New Jersey in 2007.
In the wake of Matlosz’s murder, several other area officials have also called for the reinstatement of the death penalty in certain cases.
The Freehold Township Committee unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night urging state lawmakers representing Monmouth and Ocean counties to draft a bill that would give juries the option of the death penalty for someone convicted of murdering an on-duty law enforcement officer.
“When it’s OK to kill a cop, I think we as a society have a huge problem,” said Mayor David M. Salkin.
Salkin said he had met Matlosz when the young man worked for the township as a special police officer.
“He was just a nice guy. It’s a real shame,” Salkin said.