IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 9, 2021
Mr. Cotton introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend title 18, United States Code, to make the murder of a Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer a crime punishable by life in prison or death.
This Act may be cited as the
Defending Our Defenders Act.
Murder of law enforcement officers
Chapter 51 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
Murder of law enforcement officers
Federal law enforcement officers
In the case of an individual who commits an offense described in section 1111 and the victim of the offense is a Federal law enforcement officer (as defined in section 2 of the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 (34 U.S.C. 50301)) acting in the course of the official duties of the officer, the individual shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life.
State and local law enforcement officers
In the case of an individual who travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility interstate or foreign commerce, including the mail, telephone, radio, or television, with the intent to commit an offense described in section 1111 or who uses a weapon or instrument that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce to commit said offense, and the victim of the offense is a State or local law enforcement officer (as defined in section 2 of the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 (34 U.S.C. 50301)) acting in the course of the official duties of the officer, the individual shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life.
In determining whether a sentence of death is to be imposed on a defendant convicted of an offense described in subsection (a) or (b), the jury, or if there is no jury, the court, shall consider, in addition to the factors described in section 3592(c), each of the following aggravating factors for which notice has been given and determine which, if any, exist:
Intent to ambush
The defendant committed the offense by an act of ambush.
Prior statements advocating for or promoting violence against law enforcement officers
The defendant has a prior history of advocating for or promoting acts of violence, including murder or assault, against a law enforcement officer.
Participation in or affiliation with anarchist or other violence promoting organization
The defendant is a member of or affiliated with any organization that the Attorney General or other high ranking law enforcement official has determined to be an anarchist, domestic terrorist, or any other organization or group that actively promotes violence or the overthrow of the Federal Government.
Occurrence during organized anti-law enforcement officer activity
The offense was committed during a time and in a place when there was active organized activity against or targeting law enforcement officers.
Attempt to prevent lawful execution of law enforcement duties
The defendant committed the offense in attempt to evade or otherwise prevent the law enforcement officer from carrying out a lawful arrest or other lawful authorized law enforcement activity.
The defendant has personally made prior threats of violence against a law enforcement officer.
Rule of construction
Nothing in this section shall be construed as—
indicating an intent on the part of Congress to prevent any State, any possession or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia, from exercising jurisdiction over any offense over which the State, possession, Commonwealth, or District of Columbia would have jurisdiction in the absence of this section; or
depriving State and local law enforcement agencies of responsibility for prosecuting acts that may be violations of this section and that are violations of State or local law.
Table of sections
The table of sections for chapter 51 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1122 the following:
1123. Murder of law enforcement officers.