[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----NEW YORK
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Dec 1 17:40:33 CST 2004
Silver Announces Death Penalty Hearings
New York City, Albany Forums Seek Public Dialogue----On New York's
Experience With Controversial Statute
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced that the Assembly
Committees on Codes, Judiciary and Corrections will conduct public
hearings in New York City on December 15, 2004 and Albany on January 25,
2005 to consider the future of capital punishment in New York State.
The Assembly hearings will be chaired by Assembly Codes Committee Chair
Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Judiciary Committee Chair Helene Weinstein
(D-Brooklyn) and Corrections Committee Chair Jeffrion Aubry (D-Queens).
Pointing to the ruling issued earlier this year by the state Court of
Appeals striking down a provision of the state's death penalty statute as
unconstitutional, Silver said the hearings would provide a forum for
much-needed public discussion of the death penalty some nine years after
"The Court of Appeals in June of this year effectively struck down New
York's death penalty law," Silver said. "The Legislature is now faced with
the profound question of whether the death penalty should be reinstated in
New York, and, if so, what form any new statute should take. These
hearings will provide invaluable information that we will use in making
"It is important for the Legislature to hear a range of views on this
issue before we pass any legislation," said Lentol. "I am confident that
these hearings will allow those views to be heard and carefully considered
by the Legislature."
"These hearings are intended to provide a public forum to review what New
York's experience with the death penalty over the past 9 years has been
and what that experience has taught us," said Weinstein.
"Through these hearings, we have an opportunity to review what is
undoubtedly one of the most important measures any government can take up,
which is the ability or right to take a life and the process that
constitutes that action," said Aubry.
Silver noted that while New York State has had a death penalty statute in
place for almost nine years and has spent approximately $170 million
administering the law, not a single person has been executed under the
"The fact that this law was ultimately struck down by New York's highest
court highlights the need for a careful examination of the experiences of
New York and other states with capital punishment," said Silver.
The committees will solicit testimony on varied aspects of the 1995
statute, such as:
Did the 1995 statute provide appropriate safeguards to ensure that
innocent persons would not be convicted and subject to the death penalty;
What evidence is there that New York's death penalty or the death penalty
in general deters intentional murder more effectively than other
Should the categories for death penalty application be expanded,
contracted or otherwise modified if the death penalty is reinstated;
Has New York provided sufficient financial resources to law enforcement,
victims' services, defense providers and the judicial system to administer
the death penalty over the past 9 years?
The 1st hearing will be held:
Wednesday, December 15, 2004----10:00 a.m. Association of the Bar of the
City of New York
42 West 44th Street,
The 2nd hearing will be held:
Tuesday, January 25, 2005----10:00 a.m.
Roosevelt Hearing Room
Room C, 2nd Floor
Legislative Office Building
(source: Press Release, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver)
More information about the DeathPenalty