Saturday, 10 February 2007

Death penalty not an option in state

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Death penalty not an option in state

Capital punishment hasn’t been an option in New York since the state Court of Appeals struck down the death penalty law as being unconstitutional in 2004.

Even in the nine years the state last had a death penalty law on the books, it was rarely used and no executions took place.

A brief history of the death penalty in the state is:

  • Between 1600-1963 New York carried out 1,130 executions.

  • In 1890, New York was the first state to use the electric chair.

  • The last convict executed in New York State was Eddie Lee Mays on Aug. 15, 1963. He died in an electric chair at Sing Sing Correction Facility in Ossining.

  • In 1965, the death penalty was eliminated in New York for most crimes.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court in July 1972 invalidated existing death penalty laws.

  • On Nov. 8, 1994, George Pataki was elected governor and promised to restore the death penalty.

  • In September 1995, New York reinstated the death penalty and life without parole option.

  • In 2004, New York state’s highest court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. Seven prisoners were on death row at the time.

    Information provided by Death Penalty Information Center and New York state Deptartment of Correctional Services

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