Families of fallen officers speak on legal system
CENTER CITY - November 9, 2010 (WPVI) -- Nobody feels stronger about the death penalty than the wives and families of police officers killed in the line of duty.
They are unified in their outrage over the delays and verdicts like the one Monday that spared the life of convicted cop killer Rasheed Scrugs.
"The death penalty needs to be used in Pennsylvania and it needs to be applied when a police officer is gunned down strictly because he is a police officer," Kim Pawlowski, widow of Officer John Pawlowski, said.
The family members of fallen officers who spoke out on Tuesday all fault a judicial system that allows cop killers to escape the penalty and a system that drags out the appeals process for decades.
Maureen Faulkner, widow of Daniel Faulkner, found herself back in court today, 30 years after her husband's killer was condemned to death.
"Every time we have to go back into the courtroom, it's like a wound being ripped back open, it is so emotional for us and our families what we have to go through," Faulkner said.
The killer of Judy Cassidy's husband Chuck was sentenced to death and she wonders if she, like Maureen, will be waiting for justice 30 years from now.
"We all know it's never going to happen, he'll never be murdered in prison like he should," Cassidy said.
The family members who gathered together are asking for judicial reforms, as it is life in prison is automatic if a jury is deadlocked.
They also want reasonable limits on the appeals that keep death row inmates alive for decades.
And they want jurors that follow the law.
"I feel as if that some of the jurors who were selected for our trial that possibly they lied to get on to save the life of one of their peers," Pawlowski said.
State Representative Dennis O'Brien was also present and vowed to push judicial reforms in Harrisburg during the next session that opens up in January.
As it stands right now, Pennsylvania has 220 inmates on death row at annual cost for taxpayers of $7-million.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, police officer killed, mumia abu-jamal, local/state, david henry
- AccuWeather: Easter to be comfortable, breezy
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- WATCH: Action News Online
- Sign up for Facebook Flash
- Man shot, killed in Gloucester Twp. apartment 52 min ago
- Man found shot in minivan in Tioga-Nicetown 25 min ago
- Girl hospitalized after near-drowning in Philly hotel 50 min ago
- 2 injured after car hits Camden police cruiser 51 min ago
- Man targeted in Collingdale hit-and-run ID'd
- Missing boater in Del. River ID'd, search called off
- Armed robbery at Target on Roosevelt Boulevard 8 min ago
- Pedestrian struck, killed by truck in Rhawnhurst
- Good Samaritans help nab alleged purse snatchers
- Divers pull more bodies from sunken South Korean ferry 7 min ago
- Snowmobiler charged by angry moose
48 min ago
- Firefighters rescue puppy from sewer drain
47 min ago
- Man shot, killed in Gloucester Twp. apartment
52 min ago
- 2 injured after car hits Camden police...
51 min ago