The man accused of shooting and killing a Vallejo police officer after a 2011 bank robbery in Vallejo will face the death penalty. It’s the correct call. If proven guilty, Henry A. Smith Jr., 39, of Fairfield, should face the maximum penalty allowed by law.
Officer James Capoot was shot and killed Nov. 17, 2011. Smith, the man suspected of the bank heist and the killing, was caught right away and has since been in jail awaiting trial.
District Attorney Donald du Bain’s office waited until Smith’s arraignment Friday in Solano County Superior Court to announce the death-penalty prosecution, ending months of speculation about whether Smith would face life in prison without possibility of parole or death, should he be convicted at trial.
For us, the decision to seek the death penalty if a no-brainer. We suspect the majority of Solano County residents feel the same way.
Solano County voters and people across the state upheld the death penalty last year by voting down Proposition 34 on the Nov. 6, 2012, ballot. Statewide, 52 percent of voters rejected Proposition 34. The percentage of Solano County residents who voted against the measure was a bit higher at 52.6 percent.
There’s another case that qualifies for a death-penalty prosecution. It’s the case against Anthony L. Jones, 32, of Fairfield, the man suspected of kidnapping, raping and killing 13-year-old Genelle Renee Conway-Allen of Suisun City.
The District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Jones midweek, although no announcement was made as to whether or not prosecutors will seek the death penalty. The judge indicated that criminal proceedings will be handled consistent with a death penalty case.
This is another heinous crime, one for which the accused should face the maximum penalty allowed by law.
Let’s hope the district attorney see it this way as well.