Presidential Candidate Questionnaire

Section Two: Criminal Justice Issues

1. The FOP supports legislation that would increase the penalties for threats and violence against law enforcement officers, judges, and courtroom personnel–including making the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer employed by an agency that receives Federal funds a capital offense. The legislation also imposes time and other substantive limits on Federal courts’ review of habeas corpus petitions challenging a State court conviction for killing a law enforcement officer, judge, or other public safety officer and incorporates an existing provision of the Federal habeas statute that is used to determine whether a defendant may file a successive petition or seek a new evidentiary hearing in Federal court. If elected, will your Administration actively support such legislation and will you sign the bill if it is passed by Congress?

Obama: It is a priority of my administration to ensure that our law enforcement officers, judges, and other courtroom personnel are protected and secure, consistent with Constitutional limits on federal authority.

Romney: I have deep and abiding respect and gratitude for our nation’s law enforcement officers. That respect will inform the priorities I set and the decisions I make as president. In recent years, there has been an alarming surge in the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The New York Times recently reported that the number of officers killed by perpetrators last year was 25 percent higher than in 2010 and a full 75 percent higher than in 2008. While any death of an officer in the line of duty is a tragedy, this trend is unacceptable and must be reversed. Accordingly, I firmly support measures that would meaningfully deter and punish threats and violence against law enforcement officers, judges, and courthouse staff, as well as criminal conduct targeted at their families. In my view, such conduct can effectively be deterred only through predictable penalties that are administered without delay or endless litigation. As the law enforcement community well knows, litigation by those who have murdered police officers can last decades and take a toll on the emotional and even financial resources of surviving family members, who are acutely reminded of their painful loss each time a successive court challenge is filed. As president, I would support and sign legislation that would help bring closure to family members who, having already lost a father, mother, son, or daughter to tragedy, have also endured the ordeal and uncertainty of a trial, appeal and habeas corpus challenge.

2. The FOP believes that all civilian Federal law enforcement officers should have statutory arrest authority. There are thousands of civilian law enforcement officers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) whose authority is limited to that of “apprehension.” Because it is not clear if the difference between arrest and apprehension is one of use or one of law, the FOP supports legislation like H.R. 324 which would authorize the U.S. Secretary of Defense to grant statutory arrest authority to civilian law enforcement officers within DoD. Would you sign such a bill into law and would you urge your Defense Secretary to use this authority?

Obama: I am committed to ensuring that civilian law enforcement officers have the tools they need to carry out their responsibilities effectively. I look forward to further discussions with the FOP on how to accomplish this goal.

Romney: I believe that effective law enforcement must always involve clear jurisdictional lines and robust communication between and among federal, state and local law enforcement officers. There are times when exigent circumstances may warrant a limited expansion of jurisdictional authority for certain civilian law enforcement officers, including those at DoD. I am willing to study this proposal in greater detail and discuss it with DoD, the Fraternal Order of Police and any other interested groups to determine whether and how such an expansion or clarification of authority might be appropriate.

3. The Fraternal Order of Police supports legislation that would limit the amount of damages a criminal defendant could recover as a result of injuries that the criminal incurred in the course of committing or being apprehended for a felony or a crime of violence. Would your Administration support such legislation if it were introduced? Will you pledge to sign such a bill if it is passed by Congress?

Obama: In general, I am opposed to establishing arbitrary caps on civil damages.

Romney: I support common-sense tort reform measures to eliminate the burden of frivolous litigation and errant judgments, which are matters that are largely the responsibility of state courts and legislatures under our federal system. Nonetheless, there is a distinct role for federal tort law reform with regard to frivolous and costly litigation against law enforcement, which typically occurs in the federal courts under federal statutory claims. One such reform was proposed in the “Daniel Faulkner Law Enforcement Officers and Judges Protection Act,” during the 110th Congress. That reform proposal, if enacted, would curtail a perpetrator’s ability to sue for damages sustained as a result or in the course of conduct by the perpetrator that, “more likely than not, constituted a felony or a crime of violence[.]” As president, I would support measures like the one proposed in the Faulkner Act to curb lawsuits by perpetrators who sue seeking to profit from alleged injuries caused by their own criminal misconduct.

12 thoughts on “Presidential Candidate Questionnaire

Dear Brothers and Siters. We serve the risen Lord. Every decision we make in Law Enforcement is guided or should be guided by the power of the Holy Spirit. When you decide who to vote for, don’t consider wordly things, but consider what is in the bible. Which one of these candidates line up with your Christian views. Who is for for the unborn? I know most Police Officers would prosecute anyone who injures a fetus or kills a little baby. Who supports the rights of a man and woman to marry and concieve children in a natural God given way? What happens to many of the children of blended families, fatherless homes, domestic disputes? As our brother David pointed out, Mr. Obama said the Police Officers “acted stupidly” when they confronted an unidentified tresspasser until proven otherwise. Mr. Obama condemed the latino in Florida who shot a young black male before an investigation was complete. Where is the support for the police officers killed in the line of duty by the thugs and criminals in America? Do any of you know of Mr. Obama coming to the aid of a stricken Law Enforcement family like he did for the above cases I cited along with that college female who needs $3,000 / mth for healthcare so she can have uninterrupted sex while in college?? How about refusing to fight for the christian values? What about not agreeing to meet with the Israel President but appearing on the View and Late SHow? The battle in America is the same on your beat!! It is a battle between “GOOD” and evil. You have the wisdom and power to make a difference! Pray and discern the spirit. God Bless You All!

PrezBO is most assuredly a marxist and socialist. Government dependency for total life sustainability is not the answer, nor any substitute to individual accountability and responsibility. The National FOP lodge needs to be more transparent and informed about labor unions issues by state, rather than lumping altogether issues that don’t necessarily apply in all cases. At least Romney has a proven track record or creating jobs and troubleshooting issues that resulted in success rather than failure. What has the “community organizer” ever done in that regard? Four more years of Obama will further plunder this country into complete financial ruin and ultimately destroy whatever protections we currently have!

I agree with Gary’s assement. I graded the answers as 7 for Obama and 24 for Romney. As Gary stated Obama had some wins early on but failed miserably overall.

I do not understand how one can not take him as a socialist/Marxist whichever term you use but the 2008 election proved millions didn’t see it even though his book and his “we will fundamentally change America” he clearly said so.

Let’s just hope he fails in his bid to get a 2nd term that we can not afford.

As a military veteran and retired Police officer I’ve spent most of my life to serve & protect this country and its people. Your labeling of our President as a Marxist only exhibits your lack of knowledge concerning political views throughout the world. Our Presidend is as Democratic as any other in his views of fairness for the people. Obama 2012.

David is wise to doubt that Obama either likes LE or the FOP, just as he has nothing but contempt for the military. He will say or do anything for votes. I have never seen anyone who can lie so constantly. Don’t be fooled by him, Lorin. And yes – as Joe implies, he is a Marxist.

First, I do respect everyone’s individual opinion. I just wish I could understand how anyone can still believe Obama is in any way good for this great country of ours, much less the law enforcement! Think back at how he has been the first to jump out and publicly question law enforcements actions – such as the arrest of his law professor friend. It is obvious to me that he does not care for or respect law enforcement.
Let’s face it – all of Obama’s records are “sealed” and therefore, we know nothing about him other than the fact that he has more than doubled the nations debt in just three years and that he has done nothing that he said he would do. I am truly worried that if he is re-elected for another term our great country will suffer irreparible damage. He is a great speaker, but look what he has done and/or not done – not what he says! He is one of the best liars I have seen.

I just don’t believe our president genuinely likes Law Enforcement and/or the FOP. If he gets our support, I believe he would simply use this organization strictly as a political tool in his chest, and we would not realize any benefit or support. The FOP and LE overall may not get everything we would like to see take place under Romney, (and he does have his problems), but that would be better than being used or worse. I just cannot vote for or support Obama/Biden.

Mr. Obama has the slick answers, but Mr. Romney has in my opinion even when saying something I disagree with, the most honest answers. Mr. Obama is much more political, saying what we want to hear. Mr. Romney says what he believes.

Your mind is made up and there is no changing it. President Obama will continue to enhance the rights and grouth of the middle class whereas Mr Romney will continue his approach of establishing two classes; the very rich and the very poor. I don’t know many Police officers who are not considered middle class and I can’t believe Romney is going to make them rich. Obama is my choice to protect the rights of the people..

And it appears that your mind is made up as well. I recall being in class when a classmate got upset about comments made about the current president. She stated that she was a staunch member of the President’s political party. I told her that people who set their mind to vote for a label, and do not look at all the options scare me. The same applies here. No matter what happens or is discovered, You will only consider OBama

Excellent set of questions posted by the FOP to the candidates. Obama was able to align more closely with the FOP on a few of the labor related issues at the beginning, but otherwise his answers were largely political fluff. It seemed to me that Romney clearly understood, respected and sympathized more with the general law enforcement perspective and also his views on many of these issues more closely reflect the views shared by most Americans. I was impressed by the candid and pragmatic, yet thoughtful answers he provided.

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