Mayor Impatiently Repeats His Stance on Death Penalty
By JILL GARDINER
Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 3, 2007
Mayor Bloomberg lashed out yesterday when asked what he thought of a Staten Island man's death sentence for the killing of two undercover police detectives.
"I'm opposed to the death penalty. How many times do I have to tell you?" Mr. Bloomberg said when asked about the case of Ronell Wilson, who was sentenced last week to die by lethal injection.
"I don't need the question every time there is one," he added. "You should write it down and share it with your associates. It's not going to change. Okay? My position on every one of these things, you know what they are. Write it down, pull it out of the morgue, put it on your word processor, and hit the button and put it in."
Mr. Bloomberg, a longtime death penalty opponent, said his opposition is not philosophical but is driven by the potential of making an irreversible mistake. He called Wilson a "despicable person" and said if he was imprisoned he could be forced to "work 25 hours a day breaking rocks."
Mr. Bloomberg's position puts him at odds with his police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, who is on record as supporting the death penalty for those who kill police officers.
"It isn't that I don't think this guy deserves to live," Mr. Bloomberg said. "It is that you cannot have it both ways, and the state should not be in a position where someday, God forbid, it will kill an innocent person."