Gov. Charlie Baker Supports Death Penalty for Cop Killers

'I don't think that's a close call.'

Photo via Mass. State Police/Dustin Fitch

Photo via Mass. State Police/Dustin Fitch

Following the shooting death of an Auburn police officer during a routine traffic stop over the weekend, Gov. Charlie Baker reaffirmed his support for the death penalty for cop killers.

Jorge Zambrano, 35, allegedly killed Officer Ronald Tarentino, Jr. early Sunday morning before fleeing to a duplex in Oxford, where police say he fired  on officers who discovered him hiding in a closet. Police reportedly shot and killed Zambrano, who had a lengthy rap sheet, including a brief stint in state prison.

The tragedy in Auburn led Baker to ask: “Why this guy was free in the first place?”

“We should make adjustments if we need to, especially with respect to how this guy despite his rap sheet and everything else managed to be sort of slapped on the wrist and had his last two trips to court continued without a finding, which is just odd, and led to some horrible consequences,” Baker said Monday in an interview with Herald Radio.

Though the Supreme Judicial Court banned capital punishment in 1984, Baker supports the death penalty for those who shoot and kill police officers, just as he supported the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who killed MIT police officer Sean Collier in 2013.

“I don’t know if it would pass but I’ve always said I would support the death penalty for people that shoot and kill a police officer,” Baker said. “I don’t’ think that’s a close call.”