Shoot a cop in the face -- for no reason -- and you're going to be sentenced to death. And the California Supreme Court will unanimously affirm.
Even more so if the key witness tells the jury that the police officer was "really nice," and not like other officers who are mean or sarcastic.
Being a police officer is a tough job. Massive periods of inaction occasionally interrupted by seconds of extreme danger.
Pomona Police Officer Daniel Fraembs had no idea that he was about to be killed. He thought he was just stopping a couple of kids who were on the railroad tracks for a curfew violation or something. He decided to frisk someone who had a knife sheath on his belt, and when he turned his back to the other youths to conduct the frisk, one of them pulled a gun and shot him in the head. Because he was a felon in possession, knew he was likely to be the next one frisked, and would then have spent 18 months or so in prison.
So Fraembs dies. As will Mendoza.