County Council gives its support to state constitutional amendment denying bail to “Third Strike” offenders

If adopted by Legislature, measure would be on November ballot

The Metropolitan King County Council today adopted a motion supporting a measure in the Washington state Legislature that would deny bail to felons who have been arrested on a potential “third strike” offense.

“The King County Council today sent a message to Olympia – we don’t want to see any more cops killed,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the sponsor of the motion.   “Criminals facing the possibility of life in prison are a flight risk and are dangerous to the community. They should stay incarcerated until the courts have a chance determine guilt or innocence.”

Since October, there have been three separate shootings in which six police officers in our region have been killed. At least one individual, Maurice Clemons who allegedly shot and killed four Lakewood police Officers, was facing a life sentence under Washington State’s three strikes law. The legislation, introduced at the start of this year’s Legislative session, would amend the state constitution to deny bail to felons who have been arrested on a “third strike” crime under the state’s three strikes law. The State House of Representatives approved the legislation 80-17 on February 5. The Senate adopted a similar measure on February 11 by a vote of 43-4.  By legislative rules, the two bills now go to a conference committee to work out the details. If passed, the constitutional amendment would require approval of a majority of state voters in the general election in November. “Amending the state constitution is a big step and should be reserved for only the most important issues,” said Dunn. “Protecting the public and those who protect us is the paramount duty of every government.  This legislation is necessary and appropriate for the preservation of safety,” Dunn said.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn represents the communities of Bellevue, Newcastle, Renton, Kent, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Covington, Enumclaw and significant portions of unincorporated King County.