New York Dems Say No To The Death Penalty

From Holden:

Good on them. Study after study has shown that the death penalty is not a deterrence to crime, in fact a comparison of murder rates in death penalty and non-death penalty states reveals that death penalty states experience a much higher murder rate.

When will Republicans stop clinging to the Culture of Death?

A powerful committee of the state Assembly voted Tuesday not to send legislation aimed at reinstating New York’s death penalty to the full house, a move that may effectively kill the effort for this year.

Such legislation has been pushed hard by Republican Gov. George Pataki and the state Senate’s Republican majority leader, Joseph Bruno. In March, the GOP-led Senate voted 37-22 in favor of a bill almost identical to the one rejected Tuesday.

Pataki harshly criticized the 11-7 vote by the Democrat-controlled Codes Committee, saying the “Assembly leadership’s `so what’ attitude toward criminals … is simply shameful.”

[snip]

No one was ever executed under the 1995 death penalty law, and it was effectively declared invalid by a ruling from the state’s highest court last year.

Codes Committee Chairman Joseph Lentol, who had supported the death penalty, said advances in DNA technology have shown innocent people are too often convicted of murder.

But Republican committee members argued the issue was too important to let it die without a vote by the full chamber. The legislation, Assemblyman David Townsend, said, was needed “to protect the innocent people of New York from these monsters.”

The high court’s ruling last June invalidated the sentences of all four men on the state’s death row. The Court of Appeals ruled that provisions in the law governing jury instructions could result in some jurors voting for death when they really don’t want to.