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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 490.00
Legislative findings
Penal (PEN) CHAPTER 40, PART 4, TITLE Y-1, ARTICLE 490
§ 490.00 Legislative findings.

The devastating consequences of the recent barbaric attack on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon underscore the compelling need for
legislation that is specifically designed to combat the evils of
terrorism. Indeed, the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and
Tanzania in 1998, the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, Pan Am
Flight number 103 in Lockerbie in 1988, the 1997 shooting atop the
Empire State Building, the 1994 murder of Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn
Bridge and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, will forever
serve to remind us that terrorism is a serious and deadly problem that
disrupts public order and threatens individual safety both at home and
around the world. Terrorism is inconsistent with civilized society and
cannot be tolerated.

Although certain federal laws seek to curb the incidence of terrorism,
there are no corresponding state laws that facilitate the prosecution
and punishment of terrorists in state courts. Inexplicably, there is
also no criminal penalty in this state for a person who solicits or
raises funds for, or provides other material support or resources to,
those who commit or encourage the commission of horrific and cowardly
acts of terrorism. Nor do our criminal laws proscribe the making of
terrorist threats or punish with appropriate severity those who hinder
the prosecution of terrorists. Finally, our death penalty statute must
be strengthened so that the cold-blooded execution of an individual for
terrorist purposes is a capital offense.

A comprehensive state law is urgently needed to complement federal
laws in the fight against terrorism and to better protect all citizens
against terrorist acts. Accordingly, the legislature finds that our laws
must be strengthened to ensure that terrorists, as well as those who
solicit or provide financial and other support to terrorists, are
prosecuted and punished in state courts with appropriate severity.