Denver DA: No Death for Raul Gomez-Garcia

June 10 2005, 8:03 PM

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has promised Mexico that Colorado will not seek the death penalty or life in prison without parole for Raul Gomez-Garcia, accused of killing Denver Police Detective Donnie Young. Morrissey consulted with Det. Young's widow and the other officer injured in the attack before making the decision.

Morrissey decided to forgo a first-degree murder charge because Mexican authorities have said they will not extradite Gomez-Garcia if he could face death or a life sentence without parole. "Those two options are not open to me," Morrissey said at a news conference.

Morrissey made the right call. This was a local killing. If Gomez-Garcia is responsible, he should be tried in Denver. That is only possible if Mexcio agrees to extradite him. With the death penalty or murder one on the table, that would never happen. The reality is, Gomez-Garcia, if convicted, probably will get an effective life sentence because the two offenses he's currently charged with, attempted first degree murder and second degree murder, can be ordered to run consecutively. By foregoing "an eye for an eye" type revenge, Denver now has a chance for justice.