A New Hampshire jury has convicted a man of murdering a police officer in a case that could result in the state's first execution in nearly 70 years.
Michael Addison, 28, showed no emotion as he was convicted Thursday of capital murder in the 2006 death of 35-year-old Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs, whose wife and two young sons were in the courtroom. The verdict came after 12 1/2 hours of deliberations spread over three days.
Even in peace-loving New Hampshire, the message is clear. Don't go around shooting cops. But in all fairness, could it be right and good to treat criminals more harshly who attack the sworn upholders of law and order? Maybe this isn't to say that cops are worth more than ordinary people or that the State is somehow disparaging the regular citizens by doing this. What do you think?
Another interesting element of this case is the attitude of the survivors and colleagues of the victim. I'm always fascinated by what appears to be a desire for revenge.
Many police officers who were present burst into tears or let out a sigh of relief when they heard the verdict. Briggs' wife, Laura Briggs, smiled after the jurors left and hugged the prosecutors.
I don't know what the proper behaviour would be in this situation, thank goodness, since I've never had to be there. But this reaction always strikes me as inappropriate. I could see a grim nodding of approval on the part of the fellow officers. I could see something tearful and similar on the part of the widow, but this rejoicing and, I suppose desperately hoping for the death penalty strikes me as an awful viscious cycle that brings nothing but more misery on all. What's your opinion?