Tuesday, 13 February 2007

HORSEHEADS Death penalty forum planned today at church

Death penalty forum planned today at church

February 13, 2007

Jeffrey Deskovic, who served 16 years of a life sentence for a 1989 rape and murder in Westchester County until DNA tests last year proved he didn't kill a 15-year-old classmate, will speak this evening in Horseheads.

Deskovic was freed from prison on Sept. 20 -- one of 22 New Yorkers exonerated by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project, which works to free the wrongfully convicted using DNA evidence.

Now 34, Deskovic will be among the speakers from 5:30 to 8 p.m. today during a forum on opposition to the death penalty at the First United Methodist Church of Horseheads at 1034 W. Broad St.Deskovic will be joined by Marie Verzulli, a death penalty opponent whose sister was a murder victim in Poughkeepsie.

The forum is sponsored by New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty and the Southern Tier Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Provisions of the state's death penalty statues were declared unconstitutional by New York's Court of Appeals in 2004, nine years after the state revived its capital punishment laws. New Yorkers with death penalty convictions were ordered by the court to be re-sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Chemung County Santulli testifies about shared services savingsChemung County Executive Tom Santulli discussed shared municipal services when he testified last week before a join state Legislature hearing.

Santulli, who is president of the state County Executives Association and vice president of the state Association of Counties, provided state lawmakers with an example of a tax dollar-saving project getting under way in Chemung County

"We are set to consolidate the county highway department with the highway departments of all the municipalities in Chemung County," he said. "We will save in equipment, purchasing and administrative expenses.

"Santulli, county association President Lucille McKnight and Legislative Director Ken Crannell testified before the Joint Legislative Hearing of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees.•

To read the county association's complete budget testimony go to www.nysac.org.EAST CORNING Auction to benefit Spencer CrestSpencer Crest Nature Center in Corning will hold its 22nd annual auction at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Corning Country Club on state Route 352.

An auction preview featuring cash bar and hors d'oeuvres will be followed by bidding at 7:30.There will also be a silent auction and a $5,000 prize raffle.

Auction items will include tickets and parking passes to a Buffalo Sabres game, unique art glass, original paintings and woodcarving, handcrafted furniture, antiques, jewelry, dining packages and wine tours, and personal and home services.Information: Call Spencer Crest at (607) 962-9012.

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