'Cop killer' legislation passes House
By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News
November 4, 2005

The House of Representatives has given final approval to Rep. Bob Beauprez's measure, threatening to cut foreign aid to Mexico or other countries that refuse to extradite suspected cop killers with no strings attached.

The legislation, inspired by the killing of Denver police detective Donnie Young, was included in a larger foreign operations spending bill approved by the House on Friday. A final vote is pending in the U.S. Senate.

The bill, if signed into law, could jeopardize about $40 million in aid to Mexico in 2006.

In a floor speech, Beauprez said he was upset that Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey was forced to take the death penalty off the table before charging Raul Gomez-Garcia with the death of Young and the wounding of Detective John Bishop on May 8. They were working off-duty but in uniform at a baptismal party May 8 when they were shot.

Mexico will not extradite suspects if they could face the death penalty or life without possibility of parole in the United States.

"The U.S. should not be forced to plea bargain with other countries, nor should full justice be denied family members of assassinated cops," Beauprez told House colleagues.

In an interview, Beauprez said his measure probably would not affect the Gomez-Garcia case, since charges already have been filed and Gomez-Garcia is awaiting extradition proceedings. But he said it could pressure Mexico to change legal policies preventing extraditions when suspects might face the death penalty.

"n the future, I would hope that, as our system of law expects, you should stand in front of a court accused of the crime you committed," Beauprez said. "You shouldn't have less than full justice served. That's where a lot of our hearts went out to Donnie Young's widow."

The bill that includes Beauprez's measure calls for $20.9 billion for foreign policy initiatives. It passed by a vote of 358-39.

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