In the last year, Governor Gregoire has attended the funeral for each and every police officer slain in the line of duty. She has mourned alongside us and shook the hands of family members. That fact was foremost in my mind as I read about Gregoire’s decision to deny parole to Jerry Dean Lain.
The Trib article graphically described Lain’s assault on former Richland P.D. Officer Mike Fitzpatrick. Lain stabbed him seven times, took his weapon and shot him twice. He wedged the muzzle under Fitzpatrick’s body armor for the first shot; the second was fired under the officer’s chin.
Is there anybody who would question Lain’s murderous intent?
That Fitzpatrick survived at all, much less recovered and continues to work in law enforcement today, should be considered nothing short of miraculous. That fact, however, should have absolutely no bearing on a decision to release a cop-killer whose only mistake was botching the job.
Governor Gregoire recognized Lain for what he is. And where he should stay.