Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Statement by David Kaczynski, Exec Dir. of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty


News from New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty ---- Statement by David
Kaczynski, Exec Dir. of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty

Calls Repeated State Senate Passage of a Death Penalty Bill an "Empty
Gesture," New Yorkers Support Swift, Sure Punishment for Violent Criminals
- The Death Penalty is Neither

State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno knows that todays passage of a
death penalty bill all but identical to one passed earlier this year is a
cynical and empty gesture that has no chance of becoming law.

It is unconscionable that he has led his chamber in this cynical exercise
without addressing the plague of wrongful convictions that has seen 26 New
Yorkers exonerated and freed after serving long sentences for murders or
rapes they did not commit.

We join all New Yorkers in grieving for the recent loss of Police Officer
Timoshenko, and other officers and troopers who have died in the service
of all of us.

But Senator Bruno knows, as New Yorkers have learned, that the death
penalty does not represent swift or sure punishment. No one has been
executed in New York in 44 years.

The principal effect of the death penalty is to create a lot more work for
lawyers at the taxpayers expense without any public benefit. A mandatory
sentence of life imprisonment without parole for those who murder police
is a tough sentence fully enforceable in New York State. It protects those
who protect us without wasting untold millions of dollars on a
decades-long appeals process and without risking the execution of an
innocent person.

The death penalty is a system that buries its worst mistakes. Trying to
reinstate the death penalty before tackling the plague of wrongful
convictions is a cynical gesture aimed at diverting attention from other
issues before the legislature.

Senator Bruno knows the measure will not become law, no matter how many
times he gets his conference to pass it.

New Yorkers have learned we can live without the death penalty. It is time
for Senator Bruno to catch up with the people he represents.

(source: New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty)

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