An elected official in the state of Alabama has expressed interest and publicly advocated for the public hanging of anyone convicted killing a law enforcement officer.
Jim Zeigler, the State Auditor of Alabama said in a statement released to the media that he would like to see the anyone convicted of killing a police officer to be executed by public hanging, according to The Trussville Tribune. He feels so strongly about this view that he reached out to President Donald Trump asking if he would include a mandate for the death penalty for anyone convicted of killing a police officer in his State of the Union address.
Zeigler explained his position saying quote, “We need an ‘express lane’ for executions such as Texas has – maybe stronger,” Zeigler said. “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.”
And then he got very specific about the manner in which they should be executed.
“It would be more of a deterrent to the killing of officers if would-be killers witnessed others hanging in the public square,” Zeigler said. “Nothing else makes them think. Maybe hanging would.”
The state auditor’s request comes on the heels of the murders of three police officers in Alabama in the past 12 months. Two of those officers were killed in January
“I believe that to get the attention of a would-be killer who might kill a law enforcement officer, he needs to know that the old-fashioned public hanging has been brought back,” he said. “I agree that public hanging is extreme, but also, killing a law enforcement officer is extreme. You’ve got to get the attention of these would-be killers in order for it to be a deterrent.”
Zeigler said federal law already calls for the death penalty for anyone convicted of murdering a law enforcement officer. He told the Trussville Tribune that law should be expanded to include all law enforcement officers.