Repeat offenders would be denied bail under measure
Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, is proposing a new law and changes to the state constitution aimed at better protecting the public from repeat violent offenders.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, is proposing a new law and changes to the state constitution aimed at better protecting the public from repeat violent offenders.
The two constitutional amendments were filed Thursday with the House clerk, he said, in hopes of getting hearings scheduled when the Legislature resumes next month. Hope said he is drafting the third measure, a new bill.
Hope, 34, who is a Seattle police officer, said the measures are intended to prevent serial offenders like accused cop killer Maurice Clemmons "from having an opportunity to harm others."
One amendment, he said, would eliminate the possibility of bail for "three strikes" accused offenders with records of two previous felonies — homicides, arsons, rapes and robberies, he said.
"The suspect in the Lakewood police murders had nothing to lose," said Hope. "He knew that if convicted, he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
"Letting him out on bail was a huge mistake, and something that we can't afford to let happen again."
The other amendment is aimed at violent offenders who have been granted clemency or a pardon.
If a violent offender received prison time in our state or another and a subsequent gubernatorial pardon, he would not be eligible for bail if he committed another violent crime in Washington and was proved dangerous to the public, Hope said.
The new bill, which is being drafted, would increase penalties for those who assist in aiding and abetting suspects, Hope said.
"We've contacted several police guilds and the State Patrol to solicit their support for such legislation, and they've agreed," he said.
Hope, a freshman legislator, has proposed the bill be named "The Lakewood Police Officers Memorial Act," at the request of the Lakewood Police Officers Guild.
"My fellow police officers are behind this legislation 100 percent," Hope said.
For a constitutional change, an amendment must be approved in both the House and Senate by two-thirds vote, then put before voters who must approve it with a simple majority.
Hope said he is in the process of seeking co-sponsors.
"We've been very successful in getting bipartisan support," he said. "We felt we wanted to make sure we had strong bipartisan support so that we can get a hearing right away.
"I believe the public is angry enough that these murders have become more commonplace and realize that we have to prevent them."
Hope represents the 44th legislative district, which covers Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Snohomish and Mill Creek.
Charles E. Brown: 206-464-2206 or firstname.lastname@example.org