Senator Golden Renews Call for Death Penalty for Cop Killers

Martin J. Golden

January 07, 2013

Call Follows Shooting of Three NYPD Officers


Brooklyn- In the wake of the shooting of three New York City Police Officers this week, and the killing of a Nassau County police officer last fall, Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) has renewed his call to reinstate the death penalty for criminals who kill police officers.


“As a former New York City Police Officer, I know there is evil walking on the streets of the City and State of New York, endangering the lives of every single police officer. We only have to look at yesterday’s headlines for the latest tragic incidents,” Senator Golden said. “It is our responsibility to re-establish the death penalty. We can no longer sit back and watch ruthless murderers take the lives of police officers. New York needs the death penalty to protect our society and our police officers who risk their lives every day for our safety and well-being. We must not let danger rule our streets.”


Senator Golden has previously sponsored legislation to reinstate the death penalty for cop killers which has been passed by the Senate, but not by the Assembly. He renewed his call in the aftermath of a bloody, one-hour period Thursday when three New York City Police Officers were shot and injured in two separate incidents.


On Thursday night, off-duty Police Officer Juan Pichardo was shot at his family's Bronx car dealership and transit officers Michael Levay and Lukasz Kozicki were injured in a Brooklyn shootout on a subway car.


Last October, Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez was shot to death near Belmont Park. Police arrested convicted felon Darrell Fuller for killing Lopez and for shooting an innocent motorist while fleeing police.


“Police officers all across this state put their lives on the line every day to protect the people of New York,” said Senator Golden. “We must toughen our laws to protect police from becoming targets for violent criminals. Too many law enforcement officers are killed while honoring their commitment to protect and serve this state -- and many more are injured and wounded in the line of duty. We need to do everything we can to protect our brave heroes, and this legislation will protect our communities, and our police officers, from violent criminals.”


Senator Golden’s legislation 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.


Senator Golden’s bill will address 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.