State senator looks to allow death penalty for murderers of first responders

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – If one state senator has his way, the penalty for murdering a first responder could get steeper.

Senator Mike Stuart, who represents the seventh district in the state senate, says he is introducing a bill in the upcoming legislative session that will allow the death penalty for people who murder first responders in the line of duty.

“There is no “ordinary” day for first responders. Every day and every call is fraught with potentially life-threatening danger. We must defend our first responders and make clear that we will not tolerate these acts of depravity and reckless disregard for the men and women who serve to protect each of us,” Stuart said. “Justice demands nothing less. It is justice that we must seek in defense of our men and women in service, their families, and all the good people of West Virginia.”

Stuart represents all of Boone, Lincoln, and Logan counties, as well as parts of Mingo and Wayne. He says he is running for attorney general in the May 2024 primary.

Last year, Governor Jim Justice signed a bill into law that requires a minimum penalty of 15 years in jail for killing a first responder. That law is named after Cassie Johnson, a Charleston patrol officer who was shot and killed in 2020 while on duty.

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