Death Penalty For Cop Killers? Senate Says Yes

George Winner

June 17, 2008

Albany, N.Y.--The New York State Senate has approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) to reinstate New York’s death penalty for criminals who murder a police officer, peace officer, or employee of the state Department of Correctional Services.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 36 to 23.

"If we ask our State Troopers, sheriffs, local police officers, and corrections officers to risk their lives, day after day, then I believe we have a high responsibility as a government to back them up with every possible protection and a strong system of justice that includes capital punishment." said Winner, a strong death penalty advocate for nearly three decades in New York government.

Winner said that law enforcement officers across the state, and locally, have been under siege over the past several years. He urged Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to allow the legislation to be voted on by the full Assembly. Legislation restoring the state’s death penalty has been consistently approved by the Senate, but remains opposed by the Assembly leadership.

"The Assembly leadership’s inaction is irresponsible and an affront to law officers everywhere. New York’s death penalty will be reinstated if the full Assembly is allowed to vote on it," Winner said. "Violent criminals are emboldened by New York’s lack of a death penalty. Every hour, every week, every year that we leave the death penalty off the books emboldens another violent killer."

The legislation must be approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor David Paterson in order to become law.