WASHINGTON — President Reagan appealed to Congress on Tuesday to "send our own message to people who kill cops" by passing legislation providing for the death penalty for the slaying of officers enforcing drug laws.
The President spoke at a memorial ceremony for police officers and others who have died in the line of duty while investigating illegal drug trafficking.
"Six months ago I sent to Congress legislation which says that when narcotics racketeers kill and are convicted they will face execution," Reagan said.
He said the House approved similar legislation in 1986, but neither the House nor the Senate judiciary committees has taken up his measure this year.
"It is time to back up the rhetoric on the drug problem with action, and I call on the House and Senate to vote promptly on my bill providing for capital punishment when a death results from drug dealing and when a Drug Enforcement Administration or other law enforcement officer is murdered," Reagan said.
"When drug syndicates commit murder, our sympathy should be with the victims, not the killers," he said. "It's time for us to send our own message to people who kill cops."