Senator Volker Votes Yes To Death Penalty For Cop Killers

William T. Stachowski

May 15, 2007

(ALBANY, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-C-I, Depew) announced today that The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would establish the death penalty for criminals who kill police officers.

"Time and time again, the decision that capital punishment may be used in extreme cases is an option that residents of New York State deem appropriate," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "Certain crimes are themselves so horrific that they are an attack on the very foundation of our nation. In these extreme cases, the appropriate legal action may be capital punishment. Is it grandstanding to seek the death penalty for people who kill police officers, for terrorists that kill thousands, for serial murderers? Of course not, and the majority of New Yorkers continue to support the death penalty when these heinous crimes occur."

The legislation the Senate passed today (S.319) would establish the death penalty for the intentional murder of a police officer, peace officer or an employee of the Department of Correctional Services.

In 2004, the Court of Appeals overturned death penalty sentences, saying that judges were improperly required to instruct jurors in capital cases that if they deadlocked and failed to reach a verdict during the penalty phase of a trial, the judge would impose a sentence that would leave the defendant eligible for parole after 20 to 25 years.

This legislation addresses those concerns with respect to the murder of a police officer, peace officer, or correctional officer by mandating the sentence of life without parole if the jury is deadlocked and unable to agree on the death penalty sentence.