M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News (Denver), June 15
WASHINGTON — Rep. Bob Beauprez wants to block $66 million in aid to Mexico if the country will not hand over accused cop-killers without strings attached.
Beauprez, an Arvada Republican, has joined forces with Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., on legislation inspired by the May 8 killing of Denver Police Detective Donald Young.
Their bill, expected to be filed this week, would cut off foreign aid to any country that fails to live up to extradition treaties in cases involving suspects accused of killing federal, state and local law enforcement officers.
Beauprez said it would apply to Mexico. Mexico has said it won’t extradite its citizens to the United States if they could face the death penalty.
That position is based on a treaty signed by the two countries. In addition, the Mexican Supreme Court has blocked extradition of suspects facing life in prison without possibility of parole.
Mexico’s policy recently forced Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to set aside a first-degree murder charge in Young’s killing. Instead, suspect Raul Gomez-Garcia, who sits in a Mexico City jail, was charged with second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, which carry a maximum combined sentence of 96 years in prison, with parole possible after 72 years.
“Mitch (Morrissey) is, unfortunately, in my opinion, sitting here trying to make a plea bargain arrangement on a cop-killer, for heaven’s sake,” said Beauprez, who is considering a run for governor in 2006. “This is just ridiculous, and we’re back here writing $70 million checks to Mexico every year and pretending it does not matter.”
Contact Reps. Beauprez and McHenry at (877) 762-8762.