Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I-East Meadow) today joined in support of a state budget amendment that would have reinstated the death penalty for individuals convicted of murdering police and correction officers.
However, the measure’s introduction was blocked by the Assembly majority.
“It’s time to allow a full up or down vote on the reinstatement of the death penalty in the Assembly,” McKevitt commented. “The state Senate has put the measure up for a full vote continuously, while the Assembly majority continues its refusal to allow a clear vote.”
The state Legislature and Gov. George Pataki in 1995 reinstated the death penalty in 1994. In 2004, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the state Senate’s Codes Committee has approved death penalty legislation and sent it on to the full Senate for a vote in the coming weeks.
McKevitt pointed out the legislative budget agreement reached late Tuesday includes an additional $1.7 million in funding for the capital defenders office, a state agency that defends death row inmates – even though there is no longer a death penalty in New York.
“Providing additional funding to the capital defenders office with no death penalty makes no sense,” McKevitt remarked. “We owe it to the men and women who serve and protect us every hour of every day to reinstate the death penalty immediately.”