Anyone killing police officers are, in effect, trying to eliminate what stands between them and the crimes they want to commit. Police officers can also be the victims of hate crimes. For many other categories of people, hate crimes are regarded as the worst and punished the hardest. Police officers deserve the same consideration, with those targeting them receiving the harshest penalties. Furthermore, if criminals have nothing to fear (death penalty) for murdering police officers, there will be an increase in attacks on them. Crime organizations being what they are, there can easily be a situation of those designated to commit the deed and take the fall, to intimidate police and help clear the field for the crime organization activities.
Lets think of the term "self responsibility". It is to be held accountable for yourself, and no one else. If you decide to do a crime, you should do a time. Murdering a cop (or police officer) is just the same as killing an innocent civilian, and for that, one should be punished. Just don't do it in the first place.
Now unless the officer was posing a huge threat towards society, like threatening to kill an innocent individual; than that is self defense.
I'm blessed to have been born in England, where the government no longer murders people as a punishment for murder. A country can only become truly civilized when no one's life is taken from them for breaking the law. Anyone who can consciously and purposely take a life (when not intoxicated) is obviously mentally ill to be able to murder and should be getting medical treatment, not a lethal injection.
Because what it comes down to, law enforcement agents are people just like civilians, no better, no worse. So why should killing law enforcement be worse than killing civilians? That is just favoritism, which makes civilians second class citizens. Plus, any society where Government agents are exulted above the people, you are on the road to fascism. Plus, if people become second class citizens, what purpose does the police have to exist? Except for self gratification.
Meriting the death penalty solely because the victim was a law enforcement officer is nothing but careless arrogance. Any idea that this system would protect the lives of officers or increase public safety is a LIE. Think about it - saying the "death penalty would scare people from killing an officer" is a HYPOTHESIS.. An ASSUMPTION, made at the expense of somebody's life. It may or may not prevent a murder. Even if it did, as soon as an officer is gone another is right behind him to take his place.
Although it should be punishable to the max, death penalty is irrational and quite frankly asinine! The whole death penalty makes me cringe at the unfathomable hypocrisy state governments can have. I love police officers and appreciate them very much, but if you want to take the life of someone else because they took yours, I find it hypocritical and you are just as much to blame.