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Senator Mike Stuart to Introduce Death Penalty for Murder of 1st Responders in Line of Duty

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Senator Mike Stuart

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Senator Mike Stuart, representing the 7th District, has taken a bold step in the 2024 Legislative Session by introducing legislation that proposes the death penalty for cases where first responders are murdered in the line of duty.

In a statement, Senator Stuart emphasized the gravity of targeting first responders, stating, “If you target first responders in the line of duty leading to death, the death penalty should be on the table. This isn’t about vengeance. This is about justice.” Stuart cited the case of State Trooper Sgt. Cory Maynard, who was ambushed and fatally shot in an intentional murder of a first responder. Stuart argued that justice demands more than a mere prison sentence in such cases.

The move comes in the wake of a series of tragic incidents since 2020, where multiple law enforcement officers in the State of West Virginia lost their lives while on duty. These include the murders of Sgt. Maynard, Nicholas County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Baker, and Charleston Police Department Officer Cassie Johnson. Among the recent victims were State Troopers Cadin Spessert and Abe Bean, who were brutally shot multiple times during the service of a misdemeanor arrest warrant in Martinsburg.

“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,” Senator Stuart asserted. “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, who served as the West Virginia Co-Chair of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, is a former United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Notable for leading historic prosecutions of justices of the West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals, he also oversaw record prosecutions and raids related to the opioid crisis. Stuart was at the helm of the largest takedown in West Virginia history, known as “Operation Saigon Sunset,” targeting nearly 100 individuals from Huntington to Detroit.

Currently in his first term representing the counties of Lincoln, Logan, Boone, and Kanawha, Senator Stuart has announced his candidacy for West Virginia Attorney General in the upcoming 2024 primary. The proposed death penalty legislation reflects his commitment to upholding justice and protecting those who risk their lives in service to the community.


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  • Staff Writer

    From the WV Statewide News Team. Articles depicting “Staff Writer” indicate the content was prepared by several members of the news team.

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From the WV Statewide News Team. Articles depicting "Staff Writer" indicate the content was prepared by several members of the news team.