Since the ambush and murder of four Lakewood police officers, Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, has learned startling new details about the man police say committed the crime.
“Maurice Clemmons was sent a letter by the Pierce County prosecutor’s office informing him that it was going to try him as a persistent offender and put him behind bars for life,” Carrell said. “After learning of that, Clemmons could have felt that he had nothing left to lose.”
Carrell has proposed a constitutional amendment which would change Article 1, Section 20 of the Washington State Constitution. That article states, “All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident, or the presumption great.” Carrell’s bill would amend that language to disallow bail for anyone charged with a crime which could result in a life sentence.
“The language in my constitutional amendment would cover third-strike criminals, second-strike sex predators and a handful of other specific crimes which could result in a life sentence,” Carrell said. “It’s sickening to know that the man believed responsible for taking these four officers from us had two pending charges for raping a child, as well as a number of assault and malicious mischief charges, and was allowed out on bail. We need to make sure that never, ever happens again, and my bill is just the way to do that.”
If Carrell’s constitutional amendment passes the Senate and House of Representatives and is signed by the governor, it will be put on the November 2010 ballot for approval by the people.