Death penalty cases have been extremely rare in Dougherty County in recent years, with good reason. They're costly and lengthy and should be reserved for only the most heinous crimes.
But the law allows the ultimate penalty for a reason. Sometimes it is the appropriate punishment.
District Attorney Greg Edwards' decision to seek the death penalty against the man accused of murdering Dougherty County Police Lt. Cliff Rouse is the right thing to do. It sends a strong message that violence against law enforcement will not be tolerated and lets police know that they have the full support for prosecutors and the community.
Edwards also plans to go after the death penalty for Allen Robinson. He's a former jailer accused of brutally stabbing his girlfriend in public. The D. A. is also considering the death penalty in the murders of an Albany hardware store owner and a 19-year-old convenience store clerk.
Both of them were shot even though they complied with the demands of their robbers.
We're glad prosecutors are studying murder cases closely and making informed decisions about whether the death penalty is warranted, and we hope it will help prevent future violent crimes.